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Attack on San Bernardino: 5 Years Later

Five years after the attack on San Bernardino left 14 people dead and 22 seriously injured, the former chief of police now calls the Coachella Valley his part-time home.

Jarrod Burguan retired in 2019 after nearly 30 years in law enforcement.

He talked with News Channel 3's John White about the terror attack at the Inland Regional Center during a meeting and holiday party for the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health.

"It does become in many ways part of your identity," Burguan says.

Looking back on that day five years later, he says the situation unfolded very quickly.

"As we were evacuating people, one of those employees gave us a name of the suspect."

Burguan put that information out very quickly, leading to a vehicle description.

That led to a tip from someone who saw it on the news, which led them to a home in Redlands.

The terrorists, Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik were killed in a fierce gun battle with police.

He says his officers acted heroically that day, rushing into danger at the Inland Regional Center and then in the gun battle.

He would like people to keep that in mind as they digest scenes like the death of George Floyd at the hands of police.

"If god forbid another active shooter incident happened in this community today, I guarantee you the sheriff's department and local police departments would do their best to handle that the best they could and they would run into harms way."

"The fact the officers had gotten in there so quickly, the fact that they cleared that room and went into other parts of that facility searching for the suspects which allowed the medical team to come in right behind them, there's no doubt in my mind we saved a lot of lives that day," Burguan says.

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John White

John White anchors News Channel 3 Live at 5:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., and 11:00 p.m.on KESQ-TV and CBS Local 2. Learn more about John here.

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