One Of The Most Disturbing San Bernardino Shooting Details Had Nothing To Do With Gunfire
Update: On Wednesday, Dec. 2, a shooting at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California, left 14 people dead and 21 wounded. Hours after the attack, police pursued information that led to a chase of a dark SUV, which was later determined to be a rental car. A shootout between police and the suspects left both suspects dead. The suspects were identified as Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, who were husband and wife.
According to federal law enforcement authorities, the four guns used in the shooting were purchased legally.The suspects were found to have 1,600 rounds of ammunition with them, and at a home the suspects were renting in Redlands, California, law enforcement officers found 4,500 rounds of ammunition and 12 pipe bombs. No official motive has been confirmed, though a source told the Los Angeles Times that investigators are considering a combined motive of "terrorism and workplace."
Earlier: After law enforcement officials confirmed the identities of the two suspects in the San Bernardino mass shooting on Wednesday night, numerous details have emerged on Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik. After allegedly meeting through an online dating site, the two became a couple, according to police officials and family members. Farook's co-workers told reporters that he had recently traveled to Saudi Arabia and came back to the States married, and his brother-in-law told reporters they'd been married for two years. But perhaps the most disturbing detail about the deceased couple who shot up the Inland Regional Center on Wednesday, killing 14 people and injuring 17, was the fact that Farook and Malik allegedly left their infant with a relative in order to carry out the massacre.
According to Farook's father, also named Syed, who spoke to the New York Daily News, his son had a 6-month-old daughter, likely with Malik. Having a baby, however, did not deter the couple from allegedly taking innocent lives, and they even made arrangements so that their daughter would be looked after while they carried out their crime. Hussam Ayloush, the executive director of the Muslim rights group Council on American-Islamic Relations' Los Angeles chapter (CAIR-LA), told ABC News that Farook and Malik had left their baby with a relative the day of the shooting, telling the family member that they had doctor's appointments to tend to. The Daily News reports that the relative was Farook's mother and the baby's grandmother.
Griselda Reisinger, a former colleague who worked at the health center with Farook before leaving in May, told the Los Angeles Times that she heard the same co-workers he turned his assault rifle on had thrown him a baby shower earlier this year before he took paternity leave. She told the paper:
He never struck me as a fanatic, he never struck me as suspicious.
Another colleague, Patrick Baccari, who shared a cubicle with Farook, said that after he returned home from Saudi Arabia with a wife and had a baby, the couple seemed to be "living the American dream." Farook's father described his son as "very religious," telling reporters:
He would go to work, come back, go to pray, come back.
What might have compelled such a normal-seeming couple with an infant daughter to commit mass murder is still a mystery, as police continue to investigate the case for an official motive. Though it might be ruled as workplace retribution, police are not ruling out terrorism at this time. On Wednesday night, authorities searched the Redlands home where they believe Farook's sister and mother live for more clues.
Regardless of their motive, those who knew the couple are in disbelief. Farook's brother-in-law, Farhan Khan, said at a press conference, "I have no idea ... why he would do something like this."