The Latest: Girlfriend of victim hugs and talks with Obama

AP News
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Posted: Dec 19, 2015 4:19 AM
The Latest: Girlfriend of victim hugs and talks with Obama

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — The latest on the shootings in San Bernardino, California (all times local):

12 a.m. The girlfriend of one of the 14 people killed in the Dec. 2 shooting in San Bernardino says President Barack Obama immediately asked her for a hug when he came to talk with her Friday night.

When Obama approached the table in the library of Indian Springs High School where Mandy Pifer was sitting, he said, "Words aren't enough. How about a hug?"

Pifer's boyfriend Shannon Johnson, 45, was killed in the attack.

"I've been watching you give hugs," Pifer recalled telling him. "I need a hug."

Obama and his wife, Michelle, met with members of each of the 14 families. A separate table was set up for each family and the Obamas moved from one to the next, spending about 10 minutes with each victim's relatives.

"It just felt like they were really present in their conversation with me," Pifer said. "They are sick and tired of doing these things, meeting our families."

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7:15 p.m.

Two more of the 22 injured victims in the Southern California mass shooting have been released from the hospital, leaving just three still hospitalized.

Loma Linda University Medical Center spokeswoman Susan Onuma tells the Riverside Press-Enterprise (http://bit.ly/1NCAlng ) the two were released Friday, more than two weeks after the attack.

She says two more patients remain in her hospital system, one in fair condition, the other still critical.

Another hospital's spokeswoman, Kim Trone, says one person remains at Riverside University Health System-Medical Center in good condition.

Fourteen people were killed in the shooting at a social services center in San Bernardino.

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5:45 p.m.

Gov. Jerry Brown is declaring a state of emergency for San Bernardino County after a terrorist attack earlier this month.

Sayed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, killed 14 of his co-workers at a holiday gathering before they died in a gunfight with police on Dec. 2.

Brown announced the state of emergency late Friday. It allows state health officials to offer assistance to the county health department until it can restore staffing and waives fees for documents such as death records.

The state Office of Emergency Services will also continue to offer help.

The governor says responding to the attack is beyond the means of any local government.

Such declarations are typically issued after natural disasters such as wildfires or flooding.