CALIFORNIA SHOOTING CARNAGE: AN EXPAT FILIPINO JOURNALIST PERSPECTIVE

CARSON CITY, CA–The husband and wife left their 6-month old baby with the grandparents in their apartment in Redlands, a prosperous community east of Los Angeles. We have an appointment with the doctor, they said.

They arrived aboard a rented SUV at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, a few miles away from their residence. With assault-type rifles and wearing black vests, they entered one of the rooms where a celebration was on-going and opened fire, spraying bullets at the merry-makers.

There were screams, cries of pain, moaning. It was an eternity and when it was over, 14 people lay dead and 17 injured, two critically.There was the smell of gunpowder all over the place where, earlier, it was filled with laughter and joy.

The man named Syed, 28, was in the room earlier and had joined in the celebration–he worked as an environmental specialist in the center–but he left for unknown reason. Was he repelled by the merrymaking of his co-workers? What was going on in his mind as he went out of the door?

Why did Syed leave? What was in his mind as he maneuvered his car back to his Redlands home? When he came back minutes later, he was with his wife and in tandem with Tashfeen, 27, committed the most abominable deed.

What went on in their minds as they pulled the triggers of the weapons of mass destruction? What were they thinking as the people fell down one after the other, spilling precious blood on the floor?

Were their minds diseased? What triggered them to commit the act that probably lasted for a few minutes?

Was the killing spree ideologically motivated? Was it psychologically driven? Was there a workplace issue? A religious dispute that must be resolved by violence and fear?

What went on in their separate minds as they were dying inside the SUV, their young bodies riddled with bullets from long guns fired by lawmen who engaged the wife in a firefight as he drove away in the car chase that ended in tragedy for them?

What went wrong with the highly-educated and good-looking Asian couple? They were living the American dream in a wealthy neighborhood.

There was no Filipino casualty in the Wednesday carnage.The victims included an Iranian, a female Vietnamese and other nationalities who had become US citizens and embraced the American way of life. (*The facts framing the article–who, where, what, when– were obtained from California dailies, radio, and CNN television broadcasts/Guerrero Coloma)