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San Bernardino shooting suspects, Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, had 6-month-old daughter, reports say

Authorities guard the perimeter Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015,

Authorities guard the perimeter Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015, in San Bernardino, Calif., following a shooting that left 14 people dead. Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, the couple responsible for the shooting, were killed in a shootout with cops, police said. Credit: AP / Damian Dovarganes

To family members and neighbors, there were no clues of the carnage to come.

Syed Rizwan Farook worked as a health inspector in San Bernardino, California, while his Pakistani bride cared for their 6-month-old baby.

Farook, 28, grew up in nearby Riverside and enjoyed working on vintage cars. He had a clean record, marred only by a traffic ticket. By most accounts, he lived a peaceful, quiet life.

That’s why relatives and others were shocked to learn that Farook and his wife, Tashfeed Malik, 27, had amassed an arsenal in their town house about 2 miles from where they went on shooting rampage Wednesday at a holiday party, killing 14 people.

After Farook and Malik were killed hours later in a gunfight with police, investigators searching their Redlands town house found more than 4,000 rounds of ammunition and what amounted to a pipe bomb factory in the basement.

Nobody, it seemed, saw it coming.

“He was not on the radar screen of our agency until yesterday,” San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said Thursday morning.

To friends and relatives, Farook and Malik seemed like ordinary parents who had just had a baby — even registering for an infant safety seat and diapers. The morning of the shooting, they calmly left their daughter with his mother, a family spokesman said.

Family members have condemned the attack while expressing disbelief that Farook was involved.

“I am very sad people lost their lives. I am in shock something like this could happen,” said Farook’s brother-in-law Farhan Khan. “I have no idea why he would do something like this.”

Farook met Malik on an online dating site for Indian relationships and marriages, authorities said.

In his profile from six years ago, he said he worked for the health department and came from “a religious, but modern family of four” and enjoyed reading religious books, working on vintage cars, traveling and “doing target practice” in his backyard with his younger sister.

FBI officials said Farook traveled to Pakistan in July 2014, and returned with Malik, who entered on a K-1 visa, which allows citizens to bring a foreign-born fiancee to the U.S. and marry them within 90 days. The fiancee can then apply for permanent resident status.

“She was not his wife at the time, but she is now,” said David Bowdich, FBI assistant director in charge of the Los Angeles field office. “He went to Pakistan at some point and she came here on a Pakistani passport.”

During the same trip, the couple spent nine days in Saudi Arabia, according to the Saudi embassy in Washington, D.C. After he returned, friends said Farook began growing a beard.

According to the Riverside Press-Enterprise, Farook, who went by Rizwan, attended La Sierra High School in Riverside, graduating a year early in 2004. He was a member of the school’s Muslim Club, according to a 2003 yearbook.

California State University, San Bernardino officials said Farook graduated in 2010 with a degree in environmental health. He worked for the past five years as a public health inspector for San Bernardino County, primarily issuing restaurant health grades and violations. His salary was $55,000 last year, according to payroll records.

The FBI is conducting a counterterrorism investigation with the Joint Terrorism Task Force, but officials stressed that terrorism has not been determined to be the motive for the massacre. Also being examined is potential workplace conflicts, authorities said.

Court records show Farook, who was born in Illinois, grew up in suburban tract home in Riverside as the oldest of four children.

It was a troubled household, according to court records.

His mother, Rafia Farook, accused her husband, also named Syed Farook, of domestic violence in 2006. In seeking a restraining order, she said her husband was drunk and dropped a television set on her, then pushed her and tried to hit her outside the home.

“He is always mad, drinking all day, shouting at me and my kids for no reason,” Rafia Farook said in her declaration. The couple divorced in 2008.

Police on Thursday were searching a number of addresses tied to the younger Farook. The Redlands town house was rented by the couple, but it wasn’t immediately known how long they had lived there.

Farook had been living recently in Corona, about 30 miles southwest, with his wife and baby daughter, according to a neighbor.

“I’m just completely shocked,” Robert Vargas told the Press-Enterprise. “Not only because of what happened, but because it’s so close to home.”

With Gary Dymski, AP

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