[This article has been updated]
Syed Rizwan Farook, 28 year-old deceased suspect in the Inland Regional Center shooting in San Bernardino that took place Wednesday morning, was mingling with colleagues at a holiday party just moments before gunfire broke out killing 14 people. According to law enforcement, Farook, along with his 27 year-old wife Tashfeen Malik, were identified as suspects in the shooting and shot to death by officers.
Farook, an employed health inspector at the Inland Regional Center, was described by co-workers as a tall, thin, bearded man who was polite and generally well-liked. According to coworkers, the suspect rarely discussed religion in the workplace but was a devout Muslim.
Patrick Baccari, a food inspector that worked closely with Farook, recalls Farook disappearing from the event and someone asking “where’s Syed?” shortly before a group photo was taken. Baracci was in the bathroom when the shooting broke out. He dove for cover after getting hit with shrapnel in the face as bullets hit the towel dispenser.
According to Baccari, Farook had been “living the American Dream.” Coworkers disclosed that the suspect had returned from Saudi Arabia after marrying Malik, who he had met on the Internet. The couple had a 6-month-old child together — whom they left with Farook’s mother on the morning of the attack.
Now, CNN is reporting that law enforcement officials think Farook held radical ideologies related to Islam.
CNN BREAKING: Law enforcement sources say it appears Syed Farook was radicalized –@evanperez
— Vaughn Sterling (@vplus) December 3, 2015
[Farook] was apparently radicalized and in touch with people being investigated by the FBI for international terrorism, law enforcement officials said Thursday.
Farook’s apparent radicalization contributed to his role in the mass shooting, with his wife Tashfeen Malik, of 14 people on Wednesday during a holiday party for the San Bernardino County health department, where Farook worked, sources said.
Officials had previously said that neither Farook and Malik were known to the FBI or on a list of potentially radicalized people. Nor had they had any known interactions with police until Wednesday’s deadly shootout that culminated in their deaths.
Yet Farook himself had communicated by phone and via social media with more than one person being investigated for terrorism, law enforcement officials said. A separate U.S. government official said the 28-year-old has “overseas communications and associations.”
Farhan Khan, who claims to be Farook’s brother-in-law, expressed his sympathy for the victims in a statement at an Islamic center in Anaheim. “I cannot express how sad I am… I have no idea why he would do that… I am in shock that something like this would happen… My condolences to the people who lost their life.”
— CNN (@CNN) December 3, 2015
Here’s the latest report from CBS News:
Featured image: Syed Farook via ABC News