San Bernardino bishop urges prayers for unity, healing after shootings

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December 4, 2015

A girl attends a candlelight vigil in San Bernardino, Calif., Dec. 3 for the victims of a mass shooting the previous day at the Inland Regional Center. At least 14 people were killed when gunmen opened fire during a function at a center for people with developmental disabilities. (CNS photo/Mario Anzuoni, Reuters) See MASS-SHOOTINGS-REACT Dec. 4, 2015.

A girl attends a candlelight vigil in San Bernardino, Calif., Dec. 3 for the victims of a mass shooting the previous day at the Inland Regional Center. At least 14 people were killed when gunmen opened fire during a function at a center for people with developmental disabilities. (CNS photo/Mario Anzuoni, Reuters)

OXNARD, Calif. (CNS) — Arriving in the late morning Dec. 2 at the San Bernardino diocesan pastoral center for his job in the diocese’s Office of Worship, Chris Estrella knew something was very wrong.

“I could see a police blockade of Waterman Avenue, which is where the Inland Regional Center is located,” said Estrella, music and liturgy assistant. “That’s less than two miles from the pastoral center. Then I saw a lot of law enforcement in the area — and I needed to use my key to get in the building, which is unusual.”

Once at his desk, Estrella turned on his computer and saw the reason for the blockade and increased security: The Inland Regional Center had become a murder scene, with 14 people killed and 17 more wounded.

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