• Politics
  • White House

President Obama: ‘We Don’t Know’ Motive Behind San Bernardino Shooting

2 minute read

President Obama said that while it’s possible Wednesday’s deadly shooting in San Bernardino, Calif. could be related to terrorism, the suspected killers’ motives still remain unclear.

Speaking Thursday from the Oval Office in response to the shooting that left 14 dead and 17 injured, he said that not much was known about why husband and wife Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik opened fire at a center for disabled people.

“At this stage we do not yet know why this terrible event occurred,” he said.

“It is possible that this was terrorist-related but we don’t know. it’s also possible that this was workplace related,” he continued.

Obama said he was briefed on the situation by FBI Director Comey and Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and noted that the FBI has taken over the investigation.

The two newlyweds were killed by police on Wednesday. Malik has been identified as Pakistani by federal officials and Farook was born in the U.S.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations has also condemned the shooting, which the civil liberties and advocacy organization called ” horrific and revolting.” “The Muslim community stands shoulder to shoulder with our fellow Americans in repudiating any twisted mindset that would claim to justify such sickening acts of violence,” said CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush.

As the situation unfolded on Wednesday, President Obama linked the tragedy to what he referred to as a “pattern” of mass shooting in the U.S. “The one thing we do know is that we have a pattern now of mass shootings in this country that has no parallel anywhere else in the world,” Obama told CBS on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Obama once again called for laws that would stop mass shootings, noting that we “all have a part to play”—from law enforcement to legislators—in making it more difficult for people to access guns.

“Right now, it’s just too easy,” Obama said.




More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com