Officials said Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik were killed in a shootout with police after a shooting left 14 people dead and 21 others injured at the Inland Resource Center.
Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, were identified Wednesday as two suspects killed by authorities in a shootout after 14 people were fatally shot at a social services center in San Bernardino, California.
During a briefing on Thursday, President Obama said that authorities were still working to determine the motives of the shooters, but indicated that there may be more than one.
“It is possible this is terrorist-related, but we don’t know. It’s also possible this was workplace related,” he said, speaking from the Oval Office. According to earlier reports, a holiday event was taking place at the center when the shooting occurred.
San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said Farook attended the holiday party and left “under circumstances that were described as angry.”
Both shooters were armed with what Burguan said were .223-caliber assault rifles — one a DPMS model A-15, the other a Smith & Wesson M&P-15 model. They were also armed with semiautomatic handguns, he added. All were legally purchased, and Farook bought the handguns himself.
Farook and his wife also seemed to have an arsenal at a home in Redlands. Police found 12 pipe bombs, 2,000 9 mm bullets, 2,500 .223 mm rounds, and more than 2,000 long rifle rounds in the home.
Based on the type of weapons, clothing, and the way the attack occurred, Burguan said “some sort of planning went into this.”
During the shooting, a bag was placed on a table in the center containing three pipe bombs attacked to a remote-controlled device, police said.
After the shooting, Farook and Malik fled in a black SUV, police said. More than four hours later, more than 20 officers engaged in a shootout with the two suspects.
Farook and Malik were both killed. According to reports, they were married and had a 6-month-old daughter who they’d left with Farook’s mother on Wednesday morning.
According to Transparent California, which publishes public employee salary information, Farook was working as an environmental health specialist in San Bernardino County. In 2013, he earned a salary of $51,747 plus benefits.
Farook was born in Illinois, and had been working with the county for five years.
Farook’s family has not been in contact with Farook or Malik since Wednesday morning, said Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations.
Farhan Khan, Farook’s brother-in-law, said he and his family were in disbelief after hearing Farook was involved in the incident, and had no idea as to what his motivation might have been.
“I’m in shock that something like this could happen,” Khan said. “I mean, I spoke to him a week ago.”
Khan said he was speaking on behalf of his family, and wanted to offer condolences to the families of the victims.
“I cannot express how sad I am for what happened,” he said. “I have no idea why he would do that. Why would he do something like this?”
Farook’s father told the New York Daily News his son was religious and a hard worker.
“He was very religious,” he told the paper. “He would go to work, come back, go to pray, come back. He’s a Muslim.”
He said his son inspected restaurants and hotels, and graduated from La Sierra High School in 2003.
A person with the name Syed Rizwan Farook attended Cal State Fullerton in the fall semester of 2014, a spokeswoman said. He was in the graduate program in environmental engineering.
Farook appeared to have a profile on imilap.com, which describes itself as “a premiere matrimonial and dating site” for “people with disabilities and second marriage.” However, the profile also says that it was created by Farook’s parents, so it isn’t clear whether he was involved in its creation.
The profile lists the username of farooksyed49, a 22-year-old Muslim male living in Riverside, California, who is working as government employee. In the profile, family values are described as “Eastern and Western mix” and the religion is listed as Muslim.
The profile reads: “religios (sic) but modern family of 4, 2girls 2boys I work for county as health,safety and envorimental (sic) inspector. Enjoy working on vintage and modern cars, read religios (sic) books, enjoy eating out sometimes travel and just hang out in back yard doing target pratice (sic) with younger sister and friends.”
The username farooksyed49 was also registered on a marriage service website called Dubaimatrimonial.com — “first and only legal marriage service provider in UAE.” The profile said he belonged to a “Syed sunni faimly living in USA.”
In the profile, Farook specified that he was looking for a Muslim wife “who takes her religion very seriously and is always trying to improve her religion and encouraging others to do the same.” The profile noted that he cared more about her faith than about her appearance and other “small things.”
While it is not known if he met Malik through one of these websites, co-workers told the Los Angeles Times Farook had recently traveled to Saudi Arabia, and when he came back he was married to a woman he met online.
The couple had a baby and were “living the American dream,” Patrick Baccari, a fellow food inspector, told the paper.
Baccari shared a cubicle with Farook, and said he worked with him for three years.
Griselda Reisinger, who worked with him before she left in May, told the Times, “He never struck me as a fanatic, he never struck me as suspicious.”
Court records reviewed by BuzzFeed News also paint a picture of chaotic — if not abusive — home life for Farook and his two siblings.
Records filed in Riverside County Court by his mother over the years allege that the family was subjected to verbal and physical abuse, and that at one point, Farook and his brother witnessed their father threaten suicide.
In petitions seeking restraining orders and, eventually, dissolution of marriage, starting in 2006, Rafia Farook described her husband, Syed Farook, as “bipolar” and “mentally sick.”
She also described him as being “an alcoholic” who screamed and threw stuff around the house. And at one point, Syed threatened suicide in front of his two sons, court fillings show.
“I do not know why he is bad,” Rafia Farook wrote in a petition for a restraining order preventing Syed from coming closer than 100 feet. The request was granted.
Rafia Farook eventually filed for a legal separation, which a judge granted in October 2008. The billing clerk at Kaiser Permanente Riverside Medical Center was also granted her sole custody of her teenage daughter.