PHOENIX (KSAZ) - The San Bernardino shootings hit close to home for a valley woman. She was receiving text messages from a relative who was on lockdown at her workplace next to the Inland Regional Center during the deadly ordeal.
As the community and the nation mourn the loss of the 14 innocent people who died in this shooting, those close to the victims are coping and those who were part of the chaos are trying to process what they went through.
A valley woman's relative knew four of those who were shot on December 2nd.
Kathi Pietraconsta received a text message from her aunt Wednesday afternoon, telling her that she was okay, but that her building was on lockdown. The aunt sent pictures, which showed a sheriff's deputy armed with a rifle, securing people in the building.
Deputies told people not to use their phones during the ordeal, so Pietraconsta didn't hear from her aunt for several hours and became worried as she watched officers and the suspects get into a shootout -- the scene unfolding on television.
"Just seeing them chase that vehicle and knowing my aunt couldn't talk to me.. it was scary. I didn't know what was going on. She said they were shuttling them off in buses, they weren't letting them talk to anybody. She texted me about 6:00 saying there were finally letting people go home," said Pietraconsta.
Her aunt is a medical professional and says four of the shooting victims are her patients. She could've been inside the Inland Regional Center, but wasn't on Wednesday.
"She takes patients over there all the time.. she was lucky to be on the other side of the street.. it's a blessing she wasn't involved in the actual shooting and they kept everybody safe.. police department did a great job of keeping everybody who wasn't inside that IRC building as safe as possible, said Pietraconsta.