Mother of Santa Monica gunman reveals history of turmoil in family
SANTA MONICA, Calif. — The mother of a gunman who fatally shot five people during a chaotic spate of violence last week said his father threatened to kill her on at least two occasions during their tumultuous marriage, according to court records obtained on Monday.
Meanwhile, students returned to the Santa Monica College campus to complete exams and recover backpacks, cars and other items left behind when they fled in panic on Friday. Extra security and counselors were on hand, but the library remained off-limits.
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 said she left Lebanon and joined her husband in the United States five years after they had married, and that the couple “had marital troubles ever since.” Her husband had threatened to take their two young sons to Canada, she said, and he once punched her and stole divorce papers.
Authorities said John Zawahri, 23, shot his father, Samir Zawahri, and his brother, Christopher Zawahri, leaving their home in flames before beginning a 15-minute rampage.
Abdou cut short a visit with family in Lebanon to return to Los Angeles on Sunday and spoke with investigators who hoped she could provide clues as to what sparked the violence.
Neighbor Beverly Meadows said Abdou told her by phone that she was in mourning and concerned for those who were hurt.
“Please respect the fact that this woman is devastated,” Meadows said. “She's very fragile right now. ... Everyone else is gone. She sounds like she's done nothing but cry.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Law enforcement, intelligence agencies want to ‘like’ you on social media
- Russia stacking troops at border, U.S. claims
- Senator Paul plots ways to draw minorities to GOP
- Annapolis Marine capain could be 1st to perform as part of Blue Angels team
- Carjacked SUV hits crowd in Philadelphia, killing 3 siblings
- Radar captures mayfly swarm on Mississippi
- Data on impact of Colo. gun law, background checks questioned
- Can Georgia GOP ‘outsider’ Perdue best Democrats’ Nunn?
- Sheriff doubles to 300 estimate of homes wracked by fire in Washington
- New Jersey siblings split $20M lottery prize
- Judge: Feds wrong to list bearded seals