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Police Activity Continues Near Site Of San Bernardino, Calif., Shooting

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

We return now to the story of the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, that we have been following. Earlier today, three shooters opened fire on a center that serves people with development disabilities. Fourteen people were killed. A few hours later, police shot dead two suspects in a shootout, and a third person is in custody. Joining us now from San Bernardino is Mary Plummer of member station KPCC. And Mary, can you tell us where you are right now and what's happening there?

MARY PLUMMER, BYLINE: Yes. I'm just a couple blocks away from where the shooting occurred. And, you know, it's really a very eerie scene here in San Bernardino tonight. The sun is down now, it's dark out. But there's still just a real flurry of police activity. It almost feels like a police state in the area around the Inland Regional Center where the shooting occurred. That's where I am right now. You know, police dogs barking, street lights flashing, many local businesses are closed.

MCEVERS: And you have talked to some people who live there in San Bernardino. What have they been telling you?

PLUMMER: I have. I've talked to a number of folks. And, you know, residents here are clearly very upset. It's been an incredibly troubling day. I saw one group of residents, you know, just link arms and start a prayer chant that lasted for several minutes. They were condemning the gunmen. Another woman, a young woman I talked to, just broke into tears when I was speaking with her. She told me about how her aunt, she works at the site where the shooting occurred, for several hours was missing. Luckily, she was safe, but the scare really shook her up. Also spent some time with a couple who runs an auto repair shop. And they were just, you know, glued around their TV, monitoring Facebook updates for hours. It's been a really scary day here for folks.

MCEVERS: And what are police telling people there?

PLUMMER: You know, it's still an incredibly fluid situation. There's still a lot of police activity around. Police are encouraging folks to stay indoors. This has just been a day where things are just constantly changing, so police are still on high alert, as are residents here.

MCEVERS: And we understand there was a center where some families were taken to wait for their relatives, you know, who were at the center. Has - have people now been reunited with folks who were there?

PLUMMER: A lot of folks have. I interviewed a school board member earlier today who had two students in the school district here. And she said, you know, of course schools were on lockdown. Parents got two robo-calls informing them what was going on. But everyone here - there's just been a flurry of, you know, calls, Facebook inquiries, people trying to find and connect with their loved ones.

MCEVERS: And is there any more information about the suspects at this time?

PLUMMER: The motives are still unclear, and information is - it's still trickling in. We're trying to get updates and confirm that information as we go here.

MCEVERS: And what are police saying is going to happen next? Are they going to continue to brief reporters there at the scene of the shooting?

PLUMMER: They are. We're expecting another press conference here in about an hour and a half, two hours. People are kind of buckling in. It's going to be a long night here is what it looks like. Hoping to get more information, of course, sooner than that, but we're expecting another update in the next hour and a half or so.

MCEVERS: And what else is happening there at the scene? I mean, you say there's heavy police presence, that, you know, it almost feels like a police state. Is there a sense that there are still so many authorities gathered around there, or have they spread out to other investigation sites?

PLUMMER: There are also police in Redland, which is southeast of here. So there's kind of two different locations going on. San Bernardino, of course, is east of Los Angeles, a city of about 200,000. And a lot of activity still here, right around where the shooting occurred. We're still waiting for more information. But, you know, we're seeing constant police activity. Police cars have been going by since I've been speaking with you, flashing streetlights. It just - it feels anything but normal here tonight.

MCEVERS: That's Mary Plummer of member station KPCC. Thank you so much.

PLUMMER: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.