Doctors and public health officials gave harrowing accounts Monday of the events that took place last week after two shooters killed 14 people and wounded 21 others at a county social services building in San Bernardino, Calif.
Six of the victims were taken to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton. The 436-bed hospital, which is owned by San Bernardino County and includes a Level 2 trauma center, was quickly put under lockdown along with all other county buildings. But one of the busiest emergency rooms in the state continued to treat patients and take in the victims of the deadly attack.
Dr. Michael Neeki, an emergency physician at Arrowhead who works with local SWAT teams and the county probation department, was at the scene of the mass shooting and later at the shootout with the two suspects. Neeki, a former Iranian political prisoner, said he came to this country for “democracy, and it's sad to come miles from across the world and see something like that happen here.”
Trudy Raymundo, director of the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health, and Corwin Porter, assistant director of the department, witnessed the two suspects gun down their colleagues at the Inland Regional Center.
At Monday's news conference, Raymundo said that her employees “held each other and we protected each other through this horrific event, and we will continue to hold each other and protect each other through what will be unimaginable weeks and months ahead.”
“We have a tremendous group of employees, (they're) extremely talented,” Porter said at the news conference. “They are behind the scenes protecting each one of us from the ravages of disease and injury … my heart goes out to my staff, who have suffered such tremendous loss.”