"I think just instinct kicks in, adrenalin kicks in," Trudy Raymundo said on "Anderson Cooper 360."
"I was under the table with some of the staff and we just kind of held on to each other."
Raymundo is director of the San Bernardino County Public Health Department. She and Corwin Porter, the assistant director, planned to speak to the department employees at a Wednesday holiday party about the year's accomplishments and the upcoming year's goals.
Raymundo said she was in the back of the conference room at Inland Regional Center at about 11 a.m. when the violence started. About 300 people were there.
"I was at the table getting coffee and checking out the goodies that were sitting there and it was that point in time, you know, when we all heard gunfire right outside the door and all turned to look at the door to watch him come in," she said.
Syed Rizwan Farook, a department employee, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik,
walked into the room dressed in black tactical clothing and firing guns.
People throughout the room went diving under tables set up for the holiday meal, Raymundo said. Police said Farook and Malik fired 65 to 75 rounds.
"It seemed like it was forever," Raymundo said. "And all I could think of was, 'Why doesn't he stop? Why does he keep shooting?'"
fled in a black SUV. Several hours later, police killed them in a shootout.
The couple killed 14 people
and wounded 21 at the holiday party, almost all of them health department employees under Raymundo's supervision.
Raymundo and Porter said they didn't hear Farook say anything as he shot and didn't hear him arguing with anybody before the shooting started.
Police had earlier said an altercation might have sparked the shooting but on Friday played down that possibility, saying most witnesses said they didn't hear an argument.
Farook's co-workers in environmental health had given him a baby shower about six months earlier, when his daughter was born.
Raymundo said the health department will recover from this tragedy.
"You know, we're certainly thankful for the outpouring of support from everyone, but I need folks to know, we are strong," she said. "We are strong. We will get through this. We are together. We are a family. We will get through all of this together."