'California shooting could have been terror related'

Barack Obama says investigators don’t yet know why two suspects killed 14 people & wounded 21 others.

FILE: US President Barack Obama. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - US President Barack Obama says it's possible that last night's mass shooting in southern California was terrorist related.

In a live television update a short while ago, Obama said investigators don't yet know why two suspects killed 14 people and wounded 21 others.

But he's promised that the FBI and law enforcement would get to the bottom of the crime.

Meanwhile, republican senator and presidential candidate Ted Cruz says he's concerned the mass shooting may have been an incident of what he terms "radical Islamist terrorism".

"At this point the details of what happened in San Bernardino are still unclear. But our prayers are with the families of those who were murdered and those who were shot. All of us are deeply concerned that this is yet another manifestation of terrorism."

A man and woman armed with assault-style rifles opened fire on the holiday party of his co-workers in Southern California and then were slain hours later in a shootout with police, authorities said.

The two suspects were identified as Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, who San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said were in a relationship, possibly married or engaged.

He said they were believed to be the only shooters involved in an attack that required some degree of planning.

While the motive remained unclear, Burguan said, "We have not ruled out terrorism."

Farook was US born, while Malik's nationality was still undetermined.

According to the police chief, Farook was a county public health employee who attended the party, held in a conference building on the campus of the Inland Regional Centre, a social services agency, and at some point stormed out, then returned with Malik to open fire on the celebration.

The couple were dressed in assault-style clothing and also placed several bombs at various locations, which police detonated.