San Bernardino Shooting Suspects Had a 6-Month-Old Baby: How Could They?

baby clothesEverything about a mass shooting is unfathomable. But a report that the alleged San Bernardino murderers had a 6-month-old daughter -- whom they dropped off at her grandmother's house before setting off on their deadly rampage -- is perhaps the most unfathomable of all.

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The suspects, 28-year-old Syed Farook and his wife (or fiancée -- reports are unclear), 27-year-old Tashfeen Malik, are now both dead. But they left behind their 6-month-old baby girl ... a baby girl who now has a terrible, terrible burden to live with, forever.

In a press conference, Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the pair dropped their baby off with Farook's mother early Wednesday morning, telling her they had a doctor's appointment.

They never came back.

It's too early to speculate about the motivation behind this sick, awful violence that took, at last report, 14 innocent lives -- though that sure hasn't stopped so many from jumping to conclusions. Trying to wrap my mind around something like this is impossible. There are so many emotions: It's heartbreaking to even try to imagine what the families of all those victims are going through right now. It's infuriating to feel that nothing, NOTHING is being done about the easy access to guns in this country. It's sickening to think that this mass shooting will be used by racists and bigots to justify their dangerous rhetoric. And it's terrifying to wonder when this will happen again. Because it will.

Maybe that's why, somehow, I'm fixating on this one poignant detail -- that these alleged mass murderers were new parents. And they abandoned their innocent daughter to wreak their destruction.

According to the Los Angeles Times, coworkers at San Bernardino County's public health department say they recently threw a baby shower for Farook. They also say he took paternity leave to spend time with his newly expanded family.

Unfathomable.

I know what you might be thinking ... it's unfathomable to engage in this kind of violence whether you're a parent or not. And that's true. So true. But a new baby is such a gift. There's nothing like it -- nothing like that incredible love a father and mother feel. A baby changes the world for you; the world changes around the baby. Suddenly it's full of love, of strangers who stop to smile, of friends and family who give you presents and support. Yes, it's a hard time, but it's a beautiful time.

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How could these new parents not be moved by any of this? How could they do this to their sweet daughter?

It's haunting. And I hope beyond hope that the world this precious baby girl grows up in is better than this current version.

 

Image via iStock.com/poplasen

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