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Report sheds light on chaos, bloodshed of San Bernardino terror attack

Terror attack report
San Bernardino terror report released 01:59

LOS ANGELES  - A lengthy report into the San Bernardino terror attack reveals new details about the killings last year and the way the husband and wife who carried them out died in a police shootout.

The report obtained Friday by The Associated Press provides an in-depth look at the chaos and confusion as the Islamic extremists opened fire at a meeting of the man’s colleagues.

This undated combination of photos provided by the FBI, left, and the California Department of Motor Vehicles shows Tashfeen Malik, left, and Syed Rizwan Farook.
This undated combination of photos provided by the FBI, left, and the California Department of Motor Vehicles shows Tashfeen Malik, left, and Syed Rizwan Farook. FBI, left, and California Department of Motor Vehicles via AP

The draft report by the Police Foundation, a policy study group, and the Department of Justice says three men tried to stop the armed couple, rushing at them before being shot.

Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, killed 14 in the massacre at a training event and holiday gathering of county food inspectors. They wounded 24 people before being killed later in a police shootout.

As CBS News’ Danielle Nottingham reports, Farook and Malik fired 85 rounds in three minutes. Three victims rushed them, but couldn’t stop them.

Findings from the report recreate the grisly and frightening scene:

  • “If someone moved or made a sound the shooters fired one or multiple shots into their body.”
  • “A woman who was shot in the head asked a wounded co-worker to call her mother to say goodbye. The co-worker tried to comfort her and asked if she was OK. The victim said, ‘I’m not. I’m bleeding from the mouth.’ And then she closed her eyes for good.”

Six minutes after the first 911 call, the officers charged inside. Soon, swarms of police arrived but were overwhelmed.

“It was complete and total chaos when I got there,” said the San Bernardino police chief.

The shooters had eluded police, but officers searched the building, having to ignore the dead and wounded.

One sergeant said:  “Some people were quiet, hiding, others were screaming or dying, grabbing at your legs because they wanted us to get them out ... that was the hardest part --  Stepping over them.”

Outside,  a triage area was established, as the wounded believed they were dying.

One officer recalled:  “The terror in their eyes was unbelievable; it was scarier than the wounds.”

Meanwhile, a police analyst discovered that a black SUV similar to one seen leaving the scene was registered in Farook’s name. Police spotted the car near his home. Farook opened fire. He was hit 42 times.  His wife was hit four times in the head.

The couple died, but in the end, only two officers were hurt. Six hours after the shooting, police discovered a black bag holding three pipe bombs had been left behind in the conference room.

Authorities suspect those explosives had been meant to go off after the first reponders arrived to help the wounded.

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