University Police helps FBI in San Bernardino massacre investigation

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Cal State Fullerton University Police are on high alert as they work with the FBI in their investigation of the San Bernardino massacre after discovering that one of the shooters attended CSUF in 2014.

Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, 29, killed 14 people last Wednesday at a holiday party at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino. Since then, the FBI has been looking into possible links the shooters may have had with terrorist organizations.

Records show that Syed Rizwan Farook took part in the online environmental engineering graduate program for one semester in fall 2014, according to a university statement last Friday.

Cal State San Bernardino called campus police the day of the shooting for assistance, said University Police Capt. John Brockie. Campus police sent two officers to patrol the Cal State San Bernardino campus and surrounding areas into the evening.

The FBI contacted CSUF University Police upon learning that one of the shooters had ties to CSUF, Brockie said. One campus police officer is working on the investigation and the campus will remain on high alert until the investigation is over.

CSUF University Police will “continue to monitor the intelligence updates that (they) receive and see if there is anything (they) need to act on,” Brockie said. Campus police will also be more visible on campus with increased patrols in order to more visible to the community.

The case is now a federal terrorism investigation led by the FBI, said FBI Director James B. Comey during a press conference in Washington on Friday.

“The investigation so far has developed indications of radicalization by the killers and of potential inspiration by foreign terrorist organizations,” Comey said, emphasizing that they are still early into the investigation. “There’s no indication that they are part of a network.”

Although the campus will remain on high alert until the investigation is over, Brockie advises students, faculty and staff to form a plan to help be prepared in the event of an active shooter on campus. He stressed the importance of knowing the surroundings and learning the location of emergency exits.

Anyone who sees or hears anything suspicious should report it to campus or local police, Brockie said.

Two videos on campus shootings are available for the campus community in the emergency preparedness website, prepare.fullerton.edu. The site also has suggestions on which items are important for students to have in their backpacks or cars, such as food, water and emergency kits with medical supplies.

“Whenever a tragic event like this hits — especially so close to home, for all of us — it is important to review general safety,” Brockie said. He also noted that people should keep up-to-date emergency contact information with the school.

Even though taking extra precautions may be seen as paranoia, it will make people feel more comfortable because they will have a plan, Brockie said.

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