San Bernardino shooting: Carnage was ‘unspeakable,’ police say

Updated 11:02 AM EST, Fri December 4, 2015
san bernardino lieutenant mike madden sot _00020306.jpg
san bernardino lieutenant mike madden sot _00020306.jpg
Now playing
02:08
Lt. Madden: Carnage was 'unspeakable'
apple fbi san bernardino shooters segall dnt lead _00004215.jpg
apple fbi san bernardino shooters segall dnt lead _00004215.jpg
Now playing
02:14
Why Apple is fighting FBI court order
donald trump apple boycott sot_00000905.jpg
donald trump apple boycott sot_00000905.jpg
Now playing
00:54
Donald Trump: Boycott Apple if they don't help FBI
syed rizwan farook possible terrorist connection fbi sot perez_00005519.jpg
PHOTO: Getty Images
syed rizwan farook possible terrorist connection fbi sot perez_00005519.jpg
Now playing
02:11
FBI raids linked to San Bernardino attacks
Donald Trump Apple San Bernardino phone open orig vstop dlewis_00000000.jpg
PHOTO: Getty Images
Donald Trump Apple San Bernardino phone open orig vstop dlewis_00000000.jpg
Now playing
00:51
Trump to Apple: Open the phone
PHOTO: Apple
Now playing
02:38
Judge tells Apple: unlock shooter's iPhone
Law enforcement officers search for the suspects of a mass shooting  December 2, 2015 in San Bernardino, California.  A man and a woman suspected of carrying out a deadly shooting at a center for the disabled were killed in a shootout with police, while a third person was detained, police said.        AFP PHOTO / PATRICK T.  FALLON / AFP / Patrick T. Fallon        (Photo credit should read PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP/Getty Images
Law enforcement officers search for the suspects of a mass shooting December 2, 2015 in San Bernardino, California. A man and a woman suspected of carrying out a deadly shooting at a center for the disabled were killed in a shootout with police, while a third person was detained, police said. AFP PHOTO / PATRICK T. FALLON / AFP / Patrick T. Fallon (Photo credit should read PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:05
Timeline for San Bernardino mass shooting
PHOTO: Kyung Lah/CNN
Now playing
02:19
Sergeant opens up about terror attack
Enrique Marquez  san bernardino killers neighbor dnt todd tsr_00003828.jpg
PHOTO: From Enrique Marquez/Facebook
Enrique Marquez san bernardino killers neighbor dnt todd tsr_00003828.jpg
Now playing
00:58
Friend of San Bernardino shooters pleads not guilty
Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik.
PHOTO: FBI/GETTY IMAGES
Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik.
Now playing
01:22
FBI: 18 minute gap in San Bernardino shooters' movements
Enrique Marquez  san bernardino killers neighbor dnt todd tsr_00004016.jpg
PHOTO: From Enrique Marquez/Facebook
Enrique Marquez san bernardino killers neighbor dnt todd tsr_00004016.jpg
Now playing
02:05
Suspect linked to San Bernardino shooters denied bail
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
03:22
Inside the San Bernardino killer's visa files
San Bernardino mass shooting witness account orig_00005427.jpg
San Bernardino mass shooting witness account orig_00005427.jpg
Now playing
01:30
Mass shooting in San Bernardino
Enrique Marquez  san bernardino killers neighbor dnt todd tsr_00003828.jpg
PHOTO: From Enrique Marquez/Facebook
Enrique Marquez san bernardino killers neighbor dnt todd tsr_00003828.jpg
Now playing
01:42
FBI: Shooter's friend says they built pipe bombs
syed rizwan farook possible terrorist connection fbi sot perez_00005519.jpg
PHOTO: Getty Images
syed rizwan farook possible terrorist connection fbi sot perez_00005519.jpg
Now playing
02:28
FBI: Syed Farook possibly connected to terrorist
Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik.
PHOTO: FBI/GETTY IMAGES
Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik.
Now playing
02:30
Where were San Bernardino suspects trained?
ca san bernardino attacker father lah pkg_00003902.jpg
ca san bernardino attacker father lah pkg_00003902.jpg
Now playing
02:54
Was Farook's family aware of his radicalization?
PHOTO: Chicago O'Hare Airport
Now playing
01:59
FBI: We believe San Bernardino suspects radicalized
PHOTO: Paolo Mastrolilli/La Stampa
Now playing
02:13
Report: Shooter's father says his son supported ISIS
ISIS San Bernardino support sandoval newday pkg_00000000.jpg
ISIS San Bernardino support sandoval newday pkg_00000000.jpg
Now playing
01:37
ISIS: San Bernardino killers supported us
PHOTO: FBI/GettyImage/Jae C. Hong/AP
Now playing
03:01
Did Tashfeen Malik radicalize her husband?
PHOTO: california dmv
Now playing
02:06
Gunman's sister: He was shy and quiet
SAN BERNARDINO, CA - DECEMBER 03:  FBI agents and local law enforcement examine the crime scene where suspects of the Inland Regional Center were killed on December 3, 2015 in San Bernardino, California. Police continue to investigate a mass shooting at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino that left at least 14 people dead and another 17 injured. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
SAN BERNARDINO, CA - DECEMBER 03: FBI agents and local law enforcement examine the crime scene where suspects of the Inland Regional Center were killed on December 3, 2015 in San Bernardino, California. Police continue to investigate a mass shooting at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino that left at least 14 people dead and another 17 injured. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:22
FBI investigating shootings as an 'act of terrorism'
Now playing
01:56
FBI: Investigating San Bernardino as 'act of terrorism'
landlord invites media san bernardino shooters home _00001411.jpg
landlord invites media san bernardino shooters home _00001411.jpg
Now playing
01:49
Take a look inside the San Bernardino shooters' home
landlord invites media san bernardino shooters home elam_00004807.jpg
landlord invites media san bernardino shooters home elam_00004807.jpg
Now playing
01:00
Why were reporters let inside the shooters' apartment
SAN BERNARDINO, CA - DECEMBER 02:  SWAT officers enter an area where suspects were believed to be after the shooting at the Inland Regional Center on December 2, 2015 in San Bernardino, California.  Police continue to search for suspects in the shooting that left at least 14 people dead and another 17 injured.   (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
SAN BERNARDINO, CA - DECEMBER 02: SWAT officers enter an area where suspects were believed to be after the shooting at the Inland Regional Center on December 2, 2015 in San Bernardino, California. Police continue to search for suspects in the shooting that left at least 14 people dead and another 17 injured. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Now playing
03:07
Police audio reveals the swift response to shooting
shooters family attorney intv cuomo newday _00001620.jpg
shooters family attorney intv cuomo newday _00001620.jpg
Now playing
02:07
Attorney for shooters' family: A lot of things don't add up
mass shooting san bernardino police shootout newday_00011628.jpg
PHOTO: Viralhog
mass shooting san bernardino police shootout newday_00011628.jpg
Now playing
01:35
Dramatic video shows San Bernardino shootout
PHOTO: Facebook/Inland Regional Renter
Now playing
00:42
What is the Inland Regional Center?

Story highlights

NEW: One of the first officers to arrive at mass shootings describes surreal scene

Coroner releases names of the 14 people who were killed in the San Bernardino shooting

Syed Rizwan Farook was in touch with international terrorism subjects, officials say

(CNN) —  

The gunpowder was still lingering in the air as San Bernardino Police Lt. Mike Madden and three other officers approached a conference center where a mass shooting had been reported.

Bodies had fallen outside the meeting room in San Bernardino, California, where a holiday party with about 80 guests had been underway when two people armed with semiautomatic rifles and pistols walked in and sprayed the crowd with scores of bullets.

Fourteen people died and 21 more were wounded. The names of the dead were released Thursday.

Madden, a dispatch supervisor on his way to lunch, was a mile away Wednesday when the dispatchers started frantically calling for units to head to the Inland Regional Center.

He said he had trained for events like this, but the scene was still surreal. It was sensory overload.

The fire alarms were blaring. People were moaning. Others cried out for help. Bodies lay in a room with a Christmas tree and festive decorations.

Two minutes after he had arrived at the center, he had assembled a small team to go into the meeting room.

“It was unspeakable, the carnage that we were seeing, the number of people who were injured and, unfortunately, already dead, and the pure panic on the faces of those individuals that were still in need and needing to be safe,” Madden told reporters Thursday.

’The moans and the wails’

The officers couldn’t be sure the shooters were gone. Some witnesses described two shooters; others said there were three. Someone said one person had escaped in a dark SUV, Madden said.

They didn’t know the shooters – Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik – had fled in the truck.

Madden felt bad that he couldn’t stop to help the wounded.

“There were people who were obviously injured and obviously in great amounts of pain. And that was evident in the moans and the wails that we were hearing,” he said.

But he was worried the 50 or so people who fled to a back hallway were now hostages. Or the shooters were still in the building somewhere. He had to confront that situation.

Backup came quickly, and they tried to evacuate the survivors. The people hiding in the hall were reluctant to move or were too much in shock.

Officers yelled at them to come forward. They stayed. They asked several more times. Finally, one person moved, and it was a rush.

Madden – who was born in San Bernardino, grew up there and joined the police department 24 years ago – said he felt like his town was under attack.

Authorities have said they are still not sure of the shooters’ motive, but terrorism likely was part of the killers’ plan.

Officials: Farook appeared to have been radicalized

Law enforcement sources said it appears Syed Farook was radicalized and the belief contributed to the shooting motivation, though other motivations like workplace grievances could also have played a role. President Barack Obama hinted as much Thursday when he said that the attackers may have had “mixed motives.”

Farook was in touch with more than one terrorism subject who the FBI were already investigating, according to other law enforcement officials. But his contacts with them were scant and months old.