San Bernardino: here is what we know about the mass shooting suspects

Wednesday, a mass shooting left 14 people dead and 17 injured in San Bernardino.  Several hours after the shootings, a man and woman identified as suspects were killed.

Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, were killed after being spotted by police in a black SUV on a residential street in Redlands – a few miles away from the site of the shooting.  This is what we know about the two deceased suspects:

  1. They were married and had a child: Farook was a United States Citizen and attended California State University. He had worked at the center for five years.  Despite being married, Farook kept an online dating profile.  The couple met online and Farook returned with Malik after marrying her earlier this year on a trip to Saudi Arabia. The couple’s 6 month old daughter was with her grandmother when the shooting took place..
  2. Their weapons:  The couple was found with two .223-caliber assault rifles and two semi-automatic handguns. reports NBC News.  At least two of the four weapons were acquired legally.  An “explosive device” was found at the scene of the Wednesday’s shooting spree and the couple threw items made to look like pipe bombs while being chased by cops.
  3. The Holiday Party: Wednesday’s shooting may have been the result of a dispute at the holiday party. Police are still investigating motive – and this is still a theory – but, authorities say there was an argument at the party.  Someone left and then may have returned.   The LA Times reports that Farook was indeed at the party earlier, was quiet, and left before a group photo was taken. Between 10 and 30 minutes passed between the time Farook left and the shooting occurred.
  4. Family: Colleagues say that Farook was a devout Muslim, but rarely spoke about religion at work.  His father described his son as, “very religious. He would go to work, come back, go to pray, come back. He’s Muslim.” His brother-in-law told NBC News, “I just cannot express how sad I am for what happened today. I am in shock that something like this could happen.”
  5. Motive: Authorities are still investigating “a number of potential things” including the possibility of terrorism. However, nothing has been announced or ruled out as of yet.  Police do believe this is something that was planned, with San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan saying, “I think that based upon what we have seen and based upon how they were equipped, there had to be some degree of planning that went into this. So I don’t think they just ran home, put on these types of tactical clothes, grabbed guns and came back on a spur of the moment.”
  6. A Third Party: Police are still investigating the possibility of a third suspect. At one point, Farook’s brother may have entered suspect status. It seems that now, however, authorities are mostly convinced that Farook and Malik were the only shooters on the scene.