Hours before President Barack Obama arrived in San Bernardino Friday night, California Gov. Jerry Brown issued a state of emergency declaration for the county, to help the community as it recovers from the Dec. 2 terrorist attack.
The attack left 14 people dead and injured 22 others at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino County. The FBI is investigating the shooters' possible terrorist connections after revealing they had radicalized, and a friend of gunman Syed Rizwan Farook was charged Thursday with a weapons charge in connection with the attack, and for allegedly plotting an earlier attack with Farook.
The declaration comes 16 days after the attack.
Obama landed in San Bernardino Friday evening for a private visit that he and the First Lady made with the families of victims.
The visit lasted an hour longer than scheduled and Obama described it as "moving."
"Despite the pain and the heartache that they’re feeling, they could not have been more inspiring and more proud of their loved ones, and more insistent that something good comes out of this tragedy," Obama said after the visit. "And many of them are already taking initiatives to reach out, to speak out on behalf of community and tolerance and treating people with respect."
The Obamas arrived back at Air Force One for a departure from San Bernardino to Hawaii after 11 p.m.
Get Los Angeles's latest local news on crime, entertainment, weather, schools, COVID, cost of living and more. Here's your go-to source for today's LA news.
Their visit comes as many of the families are still planning and attending funerals, and starting to grapple with what happened.
"It won't bring any closure to us," Evelyn Godoy, whose sister-in-law was killed in the attack, told The Associated Press. "But it's nice he's going to stop."
Gov. Brown's Friday declaration allows the state's Department of Public Health to assist the San Bernardino County Division of Environmental Health Services – whose employees made up a majority of the victims in the mass shooting – until it can bring staffing levels back to normal.