(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) — Suspected San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook was always quiet, according to one neighbor, but she said she noticed his behavior and appearance change about a year or year and a half ago, around the time he moved out of his home.
Farook became “more withdrawn,” and started growing a beard and wearing long, traditional attire, said Rose, a neighbor who lives across the street from Farook’s old home in Riverside, California, and declined to give her last name. Rose, who knew Farook since he was growing up, described Farook’s brother in contrast as “clean cut” and “personable.”
Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, are suspected of unleashing a deadly attack in San Bernardino on Wednesday, killing 14 people. They died in a shootout with police. Malik, who is from Pakistan but had lived in Saudi Arabia, came to the U.S. in the summer of 2014 on a “fiancé” visa and later obtained a Green Card, U.S. officials have said. She married Farook, an American of Pakistani descent, in August 2014.
Rose, who never met Malik, told ABC News’ Cecilia Vega she was “very shocked” to hear Farook was connected.
“He was very quiet, very respectful,” Rose said. “Not a troublemaker. Very normal.”
Rose also shed light on the “close” friendship between Farook and Enrique Marquez Jr., who lived next door to the old address of Farook, and who investigators believe purchased the two “assault-style” rifles used in the massacre, a law enforcement official told ABC News.
Rose said Marquez and Farook were next-door neighbors and “very close friends.”
“If anybody in this neighborhood — Enrique was the closest to Syed,” she said, adding that their friendship seemed to become more distant as Farook became more conservative.
“The whole family … they keep to themselves, they’re very neighborly,” Rose said of the Marquez family. She described Marquez as a “very good boy,” saying, “I don’t think he had any intention or any idea of what it [the guns] was going to be used for.”
FBI Director James Comey said Friday that the gun purchaser was “not a suspect, at least at this point.”
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