The gunfire involving 21 officers happened near Richardson Street and San Bernardino Boulevard, which is just a few miles south of the mass shooting scene that happened inside the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino Wednesday.
Witness Jose Rocha, who was driving behind the vehicles, said he heard hundreds of shots fired after the short pursuit ended at the scene of the shooting between 3 and 4 p.m. He said the gun battle lasted for about one minute.
Rocha caught part of the gunfire on cellphone video.
Sayed Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27 were inside the vehicle and later pronounced dead after the shootout, according to San Bernardino police.
One officer was struck in the gun battle with non-life threatening injuries.
Authorities feared the suspects threw potential explosives from the vehicle which they also believed may have been booby trapped, but were later inspected and cleared by bomb squads.
"Dozen of police cars and all these men with guns were running behind me and I was just in the middle of it, then more shots started firing... and this time, I'm really close," said Dave Danelski, a reporter from the Press Enterprise who was at the scene.
Joey Perez, a 10-year-old witness, said he was coming home from school when the shootout was happening.
As the investigation continued into the night, residents said there were bullet holes in their homes but were thankful no innocent bystanders were injured.
"I was scared because I left my kids here and thought it would be safe," said Michelle Yanez, a neighbor. "It was scary."