San Bernardino Massacre Survivor: 'Mourn with us'
NBC News – San Bernardino County reopened for business Monday, less than a week after 14 people were massacred there by a militant married couple.
Two employees of the county health department who were in the meeting that became the scene of the bloodbath spoke at a morning news conference.
"I want to ask the community to mourn with us," said Trudy Raymundo, a director at San Bernardino County Department of Public Health.
"We are strong. We are a family. We held each other and we protected each other through this horrific event, and we will continue to hold each other and protect each other through the unimaginable weeks and months ahead."
Raymundo and Corwin Porter, an assistant director, were among the hundred or so employees at Wednesday's training event and holiday party when a colleague, Syed Farook, and his wife, Tafsheen Malik, barged in and started shooting. Twenty-one people were injured along with the 14 who died.
Farook and Malik were killed later in a gun battle with pursuing police.
Dr. Michael Neeki, one of the first physicians to respond to the mayhem at the Inland Regional Center, said as an immigrant to the U.S. — and an escapee of terror — he felt especially sad. He said he had seen carnage before when he fought in the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s.
"I am here because I came for democracy," said Neeki, who was a political prisoner in Iran before he arrived in California back in 2006.
Neeki is based at Arrowhead Medical Center and the chief medical office of the county's probation department. He urged Americans to support the grieving families.
"Show ISIS what we are made of," he said.
The FBI suspects Farook and Malik, both practicing Muslims, were radicalized and are now investigating the mass shooting as an act of terrorism.
Neither Farook, who was born in Chicago, nor Malik, a Pakistani who grew up in Saudi Arabia, are believed to have been members of a terrorist cell, although authorities said Malik pledged allegiance to Sunni extremists ISIS on social media just before the attack. ISIS has called the couple martyrs.
In an address to the nation, President Obama on Sunday tried to reassure the country that ISIS would be crushed. He also urged Americans not to stigmatize all Muslim because of the acts of a few.
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