President Barack Obama said Thursday that while the motive behind the San Bernardino, California mass shooting that left 14 dead is not known yet, it’s “possible” the massacre was “terrorist-related.”
“We do not yet know why this terrible event occurred,” Obama said in a rare statement from the Oval Office, where he was surrounded by his national security team. “It’s possible this was terrorist-related, but we don’t know.”
The President said while the motive is not yet known, the two suspects killed in a shootout with police Wednesday were equipped for the attack and had access to “additional weaponry” at their homes.
Obama also called for a “search of ourselves as a society” into why mass shootings continue to plague the U.S. While Americans are “fortunate” to have such capable law enforcement, Obama said, “We can’t just leave it to our professionals to deal with these sort of killings.”
He then called for a soul-searching from lawmakers and constituents alike regarding gun access.
“It’s going to be important for all of us, including our legislatures, to see what we can do when individuals decide they want to do somebody harm, we make it a little harder,” Obama said.
Obama saw his gun control reform bill defeated after the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in which 26 children and adults died.
This post has been updated.