A gunman killed 14 people and wounded 20 others in a terrorist attack in the California city of San Bernardino on Sunday, in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
The gunman, Tashfeen Malik, opened fire on a festive-themed holiday celebration at a local church, and police say she and her husband Syed Rizwan Farook opened fire and killed 14 worshipers.
“It’s like Christmas morning and they’re celebrating,” one witness, Jazmine Saini, told NBC News.
“They’re singing and dancing.
Then they all started shooting and I heard the first gunshot and I just fell to the ground.”
Saini described the moment her mother-in-law started screaming for help.
“My mother- in-law is crying, and my father- in of course, was there with his wife and they are crying too,” she said.
“It was like I could feel her heart pounding.”
“I’m not sure what to say.
It’s like a nightmare.
It feels like someone took my heart away.
I don’t know how to describe it.”
The attack on Sunday was the deadliest attack on U.A.E. or Islamic extremist groups in the United States since 9/11.
The shooting happened after Farook and Malik had been in a gunfight with police in the city of Tustin, which was about 70 miles (120 kilometers) east of San Francisco.
Police have identified the deceased as Farook, 29, and Malik, 30.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attack.
The suspect’s wife, Tanisha Malik, was hospitalized after being shot by police.
The couple had moved to California from Pakistan in 2016 and had been living with their three young children in the San Bernardino area, where police say they were also staying at the time of the shooting.
The attack came a day after the Islamic State’s Amaq news agency published a video claiming responsibility for a separate attack on a San Bernardino mosque, killing 17 people and wounding another 22 in a drive-by shooting in June.
The ISIS-affiliated Amaq News Agency also claimed responsibility on Sunday for a shooting in New York City in which a white supremacist fatally stabbed a black woman and a black man before killing himself.