ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – A local woman who was on vacation in California found herself just a block away from the active shooting scene in San Bernardino that left 14 people dead and 17 injured.
Alein Brown said she was in complete shock and was with her family when she saw the chaos unfold as police became involved in a shootout with the suspects they said were responsible for the mass shooting.
“We were literally right underneath all of the police helicopter traffic and there were at least five helicopters in the air right above our head. Lots of people standing on the sidewalk, just tons and tons of police activity,” Brown said. “We saw tons of police chasing this car. They were coming from all different directions at one time at all going in the same direction another time.”
She said she was just a block away from the area where police cornered a black SUV containing the suspects and took photos as the scene unfolded.
Brown said that other people near her came face to face with the suspects after the shooting, armed and running from police.
“The witness that I met said he was walking down the street and the suspect came running past him and he was armed and came running past him. And he just jumped over a fence and got out of his way,” Brown said.
Brown said neighbors around her were shaken, startled and wondering what was going on as authorities had their guns drawn in what many described as a quiet neighborhood.
“Everybody was afraid. There's no doubt about it. I told everybody that they were heavily armed here searching for the suspect so everyone was still standing on the sidewalk trying to get a look at what they could, but at the same time there were cops all around us so you didn't feel like you're in danger,” Brown said.