Dentist Murdered in Office Shooting

A California dentist was tragically killed in his office on Thursday by a former patient who had meticulously planned the attack weeks in advance, as per police reports. The suspect, 29-year-old Mohammed Abdulkareem, reportedly entered Smile Plus Dentistry & Orthodontics around 4:15 p.m., dressed in all-black attire, and began shooting, hitting two men and a woman.

Abdulkareem then fled the scene in a U-Haul pick-up truck with Arizona license plates, according to the El Cajon Police Department. Emergency services arrived at the scene within two minutes of the incident, but one of the male victims succumbed to his injuries on the spot. The other two victims were immediately transported to a nearby hospital, where they are currently in a serious but stable condition.

The deceased victim was identified as Dr. Benjamin Harouni, a Jewish dentist who worked at the dental practice owned by his father, according to the Yeshiva World. The other two victims, a 28-year-old receptionist named Yareli Carrillo and a man in his 40s, are still recovering from their injuries.

Following the shooting, a manhunt was launched for Abdulkareem, who was described by the police as “armed and dangerous”. He was apprehended approximately five hours after the incident when a local resident reported the abandoned rental truck in San Diego, about 20 miles from the dental office. Abdulkareem was found in the vicinity, along with a loaded handgun and several loaded handgun magazines.

The police believe that the shooting was premeditated, with records indicating that Abdulkareem had legally purchased the handgun two weeks prior and rented the U-Haul truck an hour before the incident. The El Cajon Police Department stated that while the exact motive behind the shooting is still under investigation, it is believed that Abdulkareem was a disgruntled former patient.

The Anti-Defamation League in San Diego confirmed that the victim was a member of the Jewish community, but clarified that there was no evidence to suggest that the attack was motivated by antisemitism. Dr. Harouni was one of three doctors working at Smile Plus Dentistry & Orthodontics, a practice owned by his father, Jack Harouni.

Abdulkareem has been charged with one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder and is currently being held without bail in a San Diego jail.