Thursday, December 3, 2015
The nation understandably is shocked by the mass shooting in San Bernadino, California, a suburb East of Los Angeles. There is much that remains unknown. President Obama has stated this morning that the shootings may be somehow related to terrorism but emphasized that we do not know that yet.
The two suspects have been killed. Here are some basic facts that seem well-established.
At a holiday party, one of the suspects, Syed Rizwan Farook, age 28, joined co-workers from San Bernardino County's public health department. Farook was an inspector with the department and left the party. Shortly afterward, gunfire erupted at the Inland Regional Center. Police identified Farook as a suspect and said that he was one of two people shot to death in a gun battle with officers. The other was 27-year-old Tashfeen Malik, who reportedly was Farook's wife. Malik was from Pakistan
Farook reportedly recently traveled to Saudi Arabia and returned with his new wife. The couple had a baby and appeared to be "living the American dream," said a fellow health inspector who shared a cubicle with Farook.
The Los Angeles Times reports that, late last night, the Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California held a news conference with leaders of the Muslim community to condemn the incident and extend sympathies to victims.“We condemn this horrific and revolting attack and offer our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of all those killed or injured,” CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush said in a statement. “The Muslim community stands shoulder to shoulder with our fellow Americans in repudiating any twisted mindset that would claim to justify such ickening acts of violence.”
UPDATE (Nov.. 3, 3:45 p.m. PST): The Los Angeles Times reports that Syed Farook was born in Illinois (and thus presumably was a U.S. citizen), and had worked at the health department for five years. Farook visited Saudi Arabia for nine days in the summer of 2014, according to the U.S. Embassy there. Tashfeen Malik was born in Pakistan, according to a federal law enforcement source who requested anonymity. According to another source, she was lawfully in the United States with a visa.