Obama meets with San Bernardino victims’ families

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President Barack Obama met with the families of most of the San Bernardino shooting victims on Friday for nearly three hours, and said he was moved by their emphasis on tolerance following the Dec 2 attack.

“As difficult as this time is for them and for the entire community, they also represent the strength and the unity and the love that exists in this community and in this country,” Obama told reporters after the meeting.

Fourteen people died in the shootings in San Bernardino, California on Dec 2, when radicalised Muslims Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik opened fire on Farook’s co-workers at a holiday party.

The president and his wife Michelle spent nearly three hours offering their condolences to the family members of victims and first responders in the library of Indian Spring High School, the White House said.

The Obamas, who were greeted on arrival in San Bernardino by Mayor Carey Davis and County Supervisor James Ramos, made the visit on their way to Hawaii, where they will spend the holidays.

California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in San Bernardino County Friday following the December 2 attack there that killed 14 people.

The bureaucratic move lets the state allocate funds to the county health department “until the county is able to resume normal staffing levels,” and suspends fees on things like “copies of certificates of death records by any person who suffered a loss of a family member due to the terrorist attack.”

The shooters targeted a San Bernardino County health department holiday party.

Declarations like this are routine in cases of natural disaster.

In the declaration, Brown mentions that 26 people were wounded in the attack.

Until now officials had only mentioned 22 wounded.