In a press conference Tuesday, authorities said prior to the shooting a man from the targeted house witnessed an African-American man hitting a woman. He intervened in the dispute, allowing the woman to escape.
"Somebody from that residence did a good thing and intervened and tried to save another woman from being assaulted," San Bernardino Police Lt. Gwendolyn Waters said.
Police believe the man involved in the dispute approached the house in the 1300 block of North D Street about 8 p.m. by foot and fired multiple rounds at the front porch while two children were playing.
A 3-year-old was shot in the head and rushed to the hospital by relatives where she was pronounced dead.
A 22-year-old pregnant mother, who was also on the porch, was shot in the neck and jaw. Her 3-year-old daughter was also shot in the head. The woman is five months pregnant. Both are in critical but stable condition. The unborn child is also in stable condition.
"There were more people in the house," Waters said. "There were children in the house. We haven't had a chance to interview those people in depth yet to find out what they can tell us."
Authorities are searching for the woman involved in the alleged dispute. They are also looking for two other African-American males that are believed to have witnessed the assault.
The suspect was last seen fleeing from the neighborhood on foot.
Anyone with information is asked to call the San Bernardino Police Department at (909) 384-5742.