California shooting: Shock for Redlands, a town of 'innocent people'

Police officers and their vehicles line the street outside the house of one of the suspects in a mass shooting in Redlands, California December 2, 2015. Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Police were called to a property in Redlands, east of San Bernardino where the shooting took place

Compared to the glitzy sprawl of nearby Los Angeles, Redlands is a tiny, understated town of around 70,000 people.

Police also believe it may have been home to the people responsible for one of the US's most deadly mass shootings.

At around 5pm on Wednesday, acting on a tip off, police raided a house on Redland's Center Street, a leafy residential road about 15 minutes' drive from where the San Bernardino shooting occurred.

Using battering rams, police smashed through a window and climbed in.

It was a quick but measured entry - police were worried the home might contain explosives.

From a house opposite, 20-year-old Adrian Tejeda filmed everything.

"[Police said] lock all the doors," he tells the BBC.

"I got some calls from family saying 'Have you seen the news?'.

"I said 'Yeah I can see it because I'm right here!'"

Late into Wednesday night police continued to search the property. The surrounding houses were quiet, curtains drawn.

But nowhere was forcibly evacuated, a police officer at the scene said, although some residents had opted to leave - perhaps more due to the 20 or so satellite trucks that had descended on the scene, rather than any worry over a possible threat to their safety.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Syed Rizwan Farook is seen his California Department of Motor Vehicles photo
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Officers continued to work at the scene late into the night

As is so often the case in these shocking incidents, those who knew or came into contact with the suspect were surprised that something like this could possibly happen.

"What kind of neighbourhood is this?" Mr Tejeda continues. "It's peaceful. Nothing really bad happens.

"It's a bunch of innocent people."

He says he thought he had seen the at least one of the suspects in the past, going in and out of the house, but nothing ever stood out as being unusual or strange. Certainly nothing that hinted at what would take place in San Bernardino.

"That's crazy stuff to think they're living right next door to you," Mr Tejeda says.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Some residents chose to leave their homes near the property being searched

Hours before the arrest, at an unconfirmed address in the same town, the suspected shooters Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, both later killed by police, are said to have taken their six-month-old daughter to the home of Farook's mother.

According to a family spokesman, the couple said they had to go to a doctor's appointment.

Debate about what the shootings will mean for America's continued soul-searching on violence has already started here.

At a nearby bar, a man who did not want to be named said he worried that the shooting would be used to fuel anti-gun law arguments - due to California's apparently "restrictive" gun laws.

The state's strict - by American standards - regulations require passing a test to get hold of a weapon, and there is a waiting period.

But "Guns and Ammo" shops can still be seen peppered throughout the state, promoted with neon lights.

At least two of the weapons used in the shooting were bought legally, it has been established - news that will perhaps push the possibility of action even further away.

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