Heavily armed federal law enforcement officials raided a Riverside home neighboring the former home of one of the two San Bernardino terrorist attackers as part of the ongoing, feverish investigation into the dead couple responsible for Wednesday’s mass killing at the Inland Regional Center, authorities said.
A SWAT team descended on the Tomlinson Avenue home shortly after 1 a.m., FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.
“A a federal search warrant was served,” she said.
“Tactical entry was made utilizing SWAT as a precaution, based on information developed in our investigation,” Eimiller said.
No arrests were made. Eimiller declined to comment on whether any evidence was seized from the home.
Public records indicate 28-yearold Syed Farook lived at the Tomlinson Avenue address between 2008 and 2014. He subsequently moved to Corona, and most recently, to Redlands, where authorities ultimately discovered a stockpile of ammunition and explosives.
Syed’s accomplice and wife, Tashfeen Malik, 29, immigrated to the U.S. after marrying Farook in Aug. of 2014, officials said. A native of Pakistan, she was living in Saudi Arabia when she met Farook online.
“The search warrant is under seal,” she said. “I am prohibited from commenting about the details of the search.
But sources with knowledge of the investigation said the raid was part of investigation into a person believed to have purchased some of the firearms used in the mass shooting, which left 14 people dead and 21 others injured.
The warrant did not target a specific person, but rather the residence, Eimiller explained.
People were home at the time of the raid, however Eimiller declined to comment further on who was contacted. No injuries or incidents of violence were reported.
Maria Gutierrez says she was told to leave her house further down the street at 1:30 a.m. Saturday for safety reasons as authorities swept in with guns drawn.
She says authorities used a megaphone to tell whoever was in the house to come out.
Another neighbor, Lorena Aguirre, says law enforcement broke windows and used a torch to get in the garage.
The garage door appeared ripped open and the garage itself was piled high boxes above window-level. Curtains were drawn closed on the main house, and a sign jotted on a piece of drywall stated, “Please keep off the property. Thank you.”
Neighbor Adolfo Agoncillo said he didn’t even notice the raid was taking place until he received a phone call from his daughter, who told him that the street had been blocked off.
Agoncillo said that during the year-and-a-half he’s lived in the neighborhood, he’d only seen the family who lives at the raided home once, while taking a bike ride.
Memorials and tributes to the victims continued unfolding throughout the Southland.
At the Sante Fe Dam Recreation Area in Irwindale, home of the Renaissance Pleasure Faire, loved ones celebrated the life of Larry Daniel Kaufman, 42, of Rialto. They remembered good times with the self-described nerd and Rennaisance Pleasure Faire aficionado. Representatives of a San Bernardino mosque also stopped by to pay their respects.
Another memorial was planned Saturday night in North Hollywood for victim Bennetta BetBadal, 46, of Rialto.
And an interfaith service to foster healing was held Saturday afternoon at the Islamic Center of Inland Empire in Rancho Cucamonga.
Despite still reeling from the shocking attack that rocked the region and the nation, some signs of normalcy can be seen returning to San Bernardino.
Hundreds of locals gathered to support the San Bernardino’s YMCA holiday parade Saturday morning. Some said they turned out despite fear, others said they were not afraid.
President Barack Obama dedicated his weekly address on Saturday to the “act of terror” in San Bernardino, declaring Americans are resilient and will not be terrorized.
Obama began by saluting first responders and saying he was praying for the wounded.
“Most of all,” he said, “we stand with 14 families whose hearts are broken.”
Investigators are continuing to look into what led up to the attack by Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, on Wednesday, Obama said.
“It is entirely possible that these two attackers were radicalized to commit this act of terror,” Obama said. “And if so, it would underscore a threat we’ve been focused on for years: the danger of people succumbing to violent, extremist ideologies.”
The president also reiterated his support for gun control, saying it was too easy for dangerous people to obtain firearms — even those who are on the “no-fly list.”
“That’s insane,” Obama said. “If you’re too dangerous to board a plane, you’re too dangerous, by definition, to buy a gun. And so I’m calling on Congress right now to close this loophole.”
PHOTOS by Ryan Hagen