By Israel Ramirez |Staff Writer|
Members of the businesses around the Inland Regional center open up about their experiences after being put on lockdown during the terrorist attack last year.
Almost a year has passed since the city of San Bernardino fell victim to a terrorist attack orchestrated by former Alumni Syed Rizwan Farook leaving 16 dead, including himself and his partner.
The attack took place at the Inland Regional Center at around 11 a.m., and had many businesses around the area on high alert and on lockdown for many hours, as the police attempted to clear the area.
“I remember arriving at school to attend class and taking a seat. Out of nowhere it was announced that our campus was on lockdown due to unknown circumstances,” said Victor Calderon, a student at The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire. “I began to get worried because there was no information about what was going on, eventually I brought my phone up and began surfing through social media and saw that there was a mass shooting around the area.”
“After being on lockdown for several hours, when I got home I turned on the news and saw what had happened. It was still very confusing, some were labeling it as a mass shooting others as a terrorist attack, it was sad to see that these things could happen anywhere in our country,” added Calderon.
These situations were unheard of to the state of California, they were things that were only heard of on the news nobody imagined it could ever happen at their own city.
“I remember getting ready for my shift that morning and receiving a call from work to not go in because of the incident, I was in shock when I heard the news, there wasn’t a single news channel that wasn’t broadcasting the incident about the terrorist attack that had just occurred,” said former Costco employee David Gutierrez. “It’s crazy to know that such an unfortunate event happened in our very own city. I saw things like these on the news and never thought it could happen in our own backyard.”
“I try and try to understand how someone could have the hatred within to do this to someone, but as much as I try to comprehend it, there is no place in my mind that can justify any kind of right in these wrongdoings our nation has been suffering for the past couple of years,” added Gutierrez.
The city’s police department closed off all streets around the area with the help from the policemen of its neighboring cities.
Each house throughout the neighborhoods of the area where the attack happened were carefully searched and cleared, by police officers to make sure there was no further threats.
Public schools were all put on lockdown but let its students out on their scheduled time, as there was no threat to the children.
Inland center mall was also closed immediately when the shopping center got news of the incident.
“It was a normal day at work like any other. Nothing felt unusual, at least not until we had to close early due to circumstances that we weren’t informed about, it wasn’t until I was back at home that I knew of the ongoing situation,” said Inland center mall employee who preferred to remain anonymous.
With the first annual anniversary soon to come, we remember and honor the 14 lives lost and all those who were greatly affected by this tragedy.