The Norman Transcript

Nation/World

June 11, 2013

Records show turmoil in gunman’s home

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — The mother of a gunman who fatally shot five people during a chaotic spate of violence last week said the shooter’s father threatened to kill her on at least two occasions during their tumultuous marriage, according to court records obtained Monday.

In a 1998 request for a restraining order, gunman John Zawahri’s mother, Randa Abdou, wrote that her husband once told her: “If I had a gun it would be over.”

Abdou also said her husband had threatened to take their two young sons to Canada after the couple separated at the time, and that he once punched her and stole her jewelry, purse and divorce papers she had started filling out.

Authorities said John Zawahri, 23, shot his father, Samir Zawahri, and his brother, Christopher Zawahri, on Friday, leaving their home in flames before shooting at strangers in cars and on the Santa Monica College campus during a 15-minute rampage.

The former student at the school was heavily armed and carried a duffel bag with 1,300 rounds of ammunition before officers killed him in the campus library.

Abdou cut short a visit with family in Lebanon to return to Los Angeles on Sunday and had spoken with investigators who hoped she could provide clues to what sparked the violence.

Neighbor Beverly Meadows said Abdou told her by phone Monday that she was in mourning and concerned about those who were hurt.

Abdou has not spoken to the media.

Investigators are trying to determine whether the family’s problems played any role in the killings, which came as Santa Monica College students were taking finals. Authorities were tracing the firearms to determine the owner and how Zawahri was in possession of so much ammunition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Nation/World
  • Air Algerie jet crashes with 116 on board

    OUAGADOUGO, Burkina Faso — An Air Algerie jetliner carrying 116 people crashed Thursday in a rainstorm over restive Mali, and its wreckage was found near the border of neighboring Burkina Faso — the third major international aviation ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Very bad week: Airline disasters come in a cluster

    WASHINGTON — Nearly 300 passengers perish when their plane is shot out of the sky. Airlines suspend flights to Israel’s largest airport after rocket attacks. Two airliners crash during storms. Aviation has suffered one of its worst weeks ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Hong Kong firms on edge as democracy rally blockade looms

    HONG KONG — As activists vow to shut down Hong Kong’s financial district in protest at China’s attempt to hobble democratic elections in the city, businessman Bernard Chan is preparing for the worst. Chan’s investment company has added ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Planes with Ukraine bodies arrive in the Netherlands

    KHARKIV, Ukraine — Two more military aircraft carrying remains of victims from the Malaysian plane disaster arrived in the Netherlands on Thursday, while Australian and Dutch diplomats joined to promote a plan for a U.N. team to secure the ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Iraq elects new president as attacks kill dozens

    BAGHDAD — Iraqi lawmakers elected a veteran Kurdish politician on Thursday to replace long-serving Jalal Talabani as the country’s new president in the latest step toward forming a new government. But a series of attacks killed dozens of ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Doctor fired back at gunman

    DARBY, Pa. — A doctor grazed by gunfire from a patient who had entered his office in a suburban hospital’s psychiatric unit stopped him by returning fire with his own gun and injuring him, authorities said....

    July 25, 2014

  • UN school in Gaza caught in cross-fire

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — A U.N. school in Gaza crowded with hundreds of Palestinians seeking refuge from fierce fighting came under fire Thursday, killing at least 15 civilians and leaving a sad tableau of blood-spattered pillows, blankets ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Tornado slams Virginia campground

    CAPE CHARLES, Va. — The sky turned black and cellphones pinged with emergency messages. Moments later, a tornado ripped through a sprawling, carnival-like campground Thursday, snapping dozens of trees and flipping over RVs....

    July 25, 2014

  • Arizona inmate dies two hours after execution begins

    PHOENIX — A condemned Arizona inmate gasped and snorted for more than an hour and a half during his execution Wednesday before he died in an episode sure to add to the scrutiny surrounding the death penalty in the U.S....

    July 24, 2014

  • 48 dead after Taiwan plane crash

    TAIPEI, Taiwan — Family members of victims of a plane crash were flying to the small Taiwanese island today where the plane had unsuccessfully attempted to land in stormy weather, killing 48. There were 10 survivors, and authorities were ...

    July 24, 2014