San Bernardino shooters ID’d
One moment, Syed Rizwan Farook was sitting at a table with colleagues at a holiday gathering for county health employees. Then suddenly he disappeared, leaving his coat on his chair.
The next time his co-workers saw him, he was dressed in battle gear and wielding an assault rifle..
According to an online profile, Farook was born in Chicago.
Farook, a 28-year-old county restaurant inspector, and his wife or fiancee, Tashfeen Malik, 27, slaughtered 14 people and seriously wounded more than a dozen others in a precision attack Wednesday at a social service center for the disabled. After escaping, they were gunned down in an SUV about four hours later and a few miles away in a furious shootout with police.
Farook was born in the U.S. to a Pakistani family, was raised in Southern California and had been a San Bernardino County employee for five years, according to authorities and acquaintances. San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said he had no information on Malik’s background. Relatives said Farook had traveled to Saudi Arabia to meet his wife.
San Bernardino shooting
Is it a mass killing or an act of terrorism motivated by political considerations? That is the central question facing the US authorities on Thursday, following the massacre that left 14 dead and 17 injured in a social service center in San Bernardino, California.
The two suspects in the killings are Syed Farook, an 28-year-old American, and his wife Tashfeen Malik, aged 27.
They were both shot dead by police after a manhunt few hours after the shooting, which occurred during a Christmas partky for employees of the Public Health Department of the City.
Syed Farook was working in this department for five years as an environmental specialist. It would have left the party “angry” shortly before the shooting broke out, according to what witnesses told police.
Wednesday night, the San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan, did not rule out that the pair had committed a terrorist act, but has not been able to confirm it either. However, he spoke of an attack with “a certain level of preparation” and not under “spur of the moment.”
“They were prepared to do what they did, as if they were on a mission,” said the police chief Burguan. He also confirmed that the two suspects had assault rifles and pistols, and they wore uniforms similar to those worn by officers of tactical squads filled with ammunition.
Police in San Bernardino has also indicated that it detonated three suspicious packages left in the Social Services Centre last night. She said he was not sure it was home-made bombs, but admits favor this hypothesis at this stage of the investigation.
CNN and Fox cited police sources according to which the bags contained gunpowder and mechanisms that could be activated from a remote controlled car controller. According to CNN, the controller was found four weapons in the sport utility vehicle used by the suspects to flee.
The US Justice Secretary, Loretta Lynch, said Thursday morning that she did not give additional details about the investigation into the massacre, the worst attack in American soil since it occurred in a Newton School in Connecticut in December 2012.
Details will be provided later by the local authorities, she said.
According to the website Shooting Tracker, which lists the shootings on American soil, it is the 355th mass shooting since the beginning of the year.
Wednesday night, President Obama expressed his condolences to the families of victims and deplored the mass killings that occur repeatedly and are “unparalleled elsewhere in the world.”
“There are steps we can take, not to eliminate all these shootings, but to improve the chances that they do not occur with such frequency,” he has said on CBS.