San Bernardino Shooter’s Father Had History of Domestic Violence, Alcoholism

By Victoria Kim 12/04/15

Syed Farook and wife Tashfeen Malik killed 14 and wounded 17 at the Inland Regional Center on Wednesday.

Syed Farook
Driver's license photo for Syed Farook. California DMV

The San Bernardino shooter identified as Syed Rizwan Farook came from a violent home life exacerbated by his alcoholic father, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Years before Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, opened fire on Farook’s co-workers who were attending a Christmas party at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, Calif., his home life was marred by domestic violence and multiple restraining orders against his father, also named Syed Farook.

According to documents filed in Riverside County Superior Court, Farook’s mother, Rafia, described her husband as “negligent and an alcoholic” who was physically and verbally abusive to her and her children.

Ms. Farook went to court at least three times for domestic-violence protection, according to TMZ. In her requests, the elder Syed is often described as drunk, “mentally sick” and abusive. In documents obtained by TMZ, Ms. Farook described the abuse: “He is always mad. Drinking all day. Screaming on me, shouting at my kids for no reason.”

In her accusations, Ms. Farook claimed her husband choked her, drunkenly dropped a TV on her, and physically and verbally abused her, her daughter, and two sons. Another daughter reportedly lived elsewhere.

The police were called in a February 2008 incident. The elder Syed was placed in a county hospital for a 72-hour observation period after he threatened to kill himself during a fight with the family. According to Ms. Farook, her husband “threatens to kill himself on a daily basis.”

In October 2008, Ms. Farook was legally separated from her husband. But it seems that wasn’t the end of it. According to the New York Times, she made another domestic violence complaint as recently as February 2015.

Farook and Malik killed 14 people and injured 17 at the Inland Regional Center on December 2. Both were later killed in a shootout with police.

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