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A local San Bernardino reporter was caught in the middle of the shootout between police and the alleged suspects from today’s mass shooting in Southern California.
In a dramatic first person account, David Danelski, a staff writer with the Press-Enterprise newspaper, describes how he was driving his car in San Bernardino when he spotted several police vehicles apparently in pursuit of the black SUV driven by the alleged suspects. Danelski decided to follow “at a safe distance” when shots rang out.
“I heard a thundering sound. I didn’t recognize the sound as gunfire. Then I heard something strange, a whizzing sound go by my car,” Danelski writes. “I thought, ‘Oh my God, that could be gunshots,’ and I pulled over.”
“I grab my camera and I’m taking pictures, taking pictures of cops running with guns, and then all of a sudden a bunch more gunshots and then I ran.”
Danelski described to CNN seeing “waves and waves of police” passing by, apparently heading towards the suspect’s vehicle, which Danelski says he never saw.
While taking shelter behind a nearby wall, Danelski writes he was soon spotted by police, “…one officer starts yelling at me and pulls his pistol, and he asks me what I’m doing there.
“I’m a reporter,” I said.
“How did you end up here?” the cop asks.
“I just got caught up in this,” I told him.
He said, “We don’t know who’s out here. Take your camera and go.”
Danelski writes that he ran down the street and took shelter in a local family’s backyard where he could hear the remainder of the gun battle. Danelski left the scene when police cleared the area in order to detonate a suspected explosive device that the suspects allegedly threw from their SUV during the chase.
William Brangham is a correspondent and producer for PBS NewsHour in Washington, D.C. He joined the flagship PBS program in 2015, after spending two years with PBS NewsHour Weekend in New York City.
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