As the FBI cautions that it is too soon to tell whether the husband-and-wife killers from yesterday’s mass shooting in California had terrorist motives, some details are emerging about the couple and the hours leading up to the shootings.
The couple were newly married Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik and police discovered they had an arsenal of bullets and pipe bombs in their home.
Farook was employed as an environmental inspector for the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health for five years and had been at the staff Christmas party at the conference centre, but left abruptly, Mashable reports.
San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said there were reports of a dispute before Farook left the party, but did not elaborate.
American-born Farook and his wife were known as a quiet couple ; Farook described himself on a dating website a few years prior as a “religious man from a modern family”.
Earlier this year, Farook travelled to Saudi Arabia and returned with a new wife, 27-year-old Malik.
Perhaps the most heartbreaking detail of the whole attack is that the couple had a six-month-old daughter.
On the morning of the shooting, they dropped off their little girl at Farook’s mother’s house, saying they had a doctor’s appointment.
Hours later, as news of the shooting emerged, the grandparents wanted anxiously to hear from their son and daughter-in-law, concerned they had been caught up in the shooting.
It wasn’t until the evening, several hours after the shootings and showdown that saw the couple gunned down in the street, that police arrived to question the family, and what had happened became clear.
While we don’t yet know the motives for the killings, whether they were idealogical or based on a workplace dispute, or mental illness, we can’t help thinking about that little baby and her grandmother, and the senseless way their lives and so many others have been ripped apart by senseless violence.
Can you imagine being that grandmother today? How on earth would you cope?