San Bernardino Shooting: Nigerian Man Recounts The Terrifying Experience
Nigerian man Chris Nwadike, a survivor of the San Bernadino, California fatal shooting was in the bathroom along with some of his co-workers when shots were fired at the Inland Regional Center on Wednesday.
Chris Nwadike at his home
According to The Wall Street Journal, the 62-year-old health inspector of San Bernardino County, was excited to arrive at the Inland Regional Center early Wednesday morning for an office party.
It was a special event that was held twice a year to recognize and reward employees for their hardwork and diligence.
Nwadike recounted that the party kicked off well and everyone was excited, until about 11a.m. that morning when the party turned into a scene of horror.
Police said 28-year-old Syed Rizwan Farook, a health inspector who largely kept to himself, left the party and returned later, this time, with his wife, Tashfeen Malik, 27, both of them dressed in combat gear and armed with semiautomatic rifles. The couple opened fire, killing 14 peopleand wounding 21.
The shooters: Syed Rizwan Farook & wife, Tashfeen Malik - both shot my
In an interview that was held on Thursday at Nwadike's home in Rialto, California, he told reporters that he had been sitting with Mr. Farook at a table and noticed at one point that he had gotten up and left the room. “He didn’t say anything.”
When an employee gave out hand-held clickers for a game, the people at the table said to put one at Mr. Farook’s place because they assumed he would be back to play.
Not long after, during a break from the festivities, Mr. Nwadike was in the bathroom along with three other employees when he heard a sharp boom echo through the building.
“The very first blast was a big one that woke up everyone that something was wrong,” said Mr. Nwadike, sitting on his couch and gesturing with his hands as he described the previous day’s events. “When the first one sounded, I thought that something fell.”
San Bernardino eyewitness account: Chris Nwadike
A fellow inspector then recognized the sounds as gunfire and shouted for Mr. Nwadike and others to lie down on the bathroom floor.
The co-workers huddled inside the bathroom could hear rapid bursts of gunfire and at times single shots, followed by screams and cries from the room where the party was held, Mr. Nwadike recalled.
“I was thinking, ‘Am I going to die or stay alive?’ ” he said, recounting how he and others stayed prone on the bathroom floor for roughly 10 minutes. The shots died down and the screaming grew louder, he said. They were still lying on the floor when the police came in to check on them.
RIP to those we lost at the shooting. We hope those who got injured recovers soon.