El Cajon

Suspect arrested in dental office shooting that left 1 dead and 2 injured in California

The incident occurred near the intersection of Magnolia and Madison avenues in El Cajon

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The arrest comes after the U-Haul pickup truck used by the suspect was found around 9:15 p.m. Thursday outside Balboa Park near Sixth Avenue and Quince Street.

San Diego police officers searched the area and took the suspect into custody shortly after, near where they located the vehicle, Capt. Rob Ransweiler with the El Cajon Police Department (ECPD) said.

El Cajon police responded to the shooting at a dental office near the intersection of Magnolia and Madison avenues at around 4:15 p.m. Thursday.

At this time, "there are three victims," according to Ransweiler. He said that the person who was killed was a male, and the other two victims, who were both taken to area hospitals, were a man in his 40s and a woman in her 20s. Ransweiler added that both victims were "stable" and that all the victims were shot with a handgun.

"There were a lot of family members on scene," Ransweiler said.

Father of one of the shooting victims speaks to NBC 7

Jose Antonio identified his only daughter, Yareli, as one of the shooting victims. He says she is 27 years old and works in the front office of the dental office.

"My wife called me, and she said my daughter called her and that she is OK, but she was shot in the legs," Antonio told NBC San Diego.

Antonio said his daughter does not know the shooter.

Just after 6 p.m., ECPD identified the suspect as 29-year-old El Cajon resident Mohammed Abdulkareem and warned the public that he was considered armed and dangerous.

Abdulkareem took off in a white U-Haul pickup truck with an Arizona license plate, El Cajon police said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. Ransweiler said at a news briefing that video of the vehicle was captured by the city's Flock traffic-camera system.

The U-Haul pickup truck used by the suspect was found near Balboa Park at Sixth Avenue and Quince Street on Feb. 29, 2024.
The U-Haul pickup truck used by the suspect was found by San Diego police near Balboa Park at Sixth Avenue and Quince Street on Feb. 29, 2024.

At least half a dozen police cars were at the shooting scene, and officers were seen searching the area and surrounding buildings. First responders could be seen providing aid to a person down on the sidewalk.

The shooting took place inside the dental office, Ransweiler said, and because it was still an active scene when officers arrived, the male who was killed was brought outside by officers so that they could attempt to provide lifesaving aid.

Sarkar Shiro says he lives across the street and came to the scene after hearing police officers and a helicopter. He says safety in the area has never been a big concern for him.

"There's always a lot of traffic, foot traffic, a lot going on in this area, but nothing to this extent," Shiro told NBC 7.

The investigation is ongoing. Ransweiler said that there would be no additional news conferences for the rest of the evening. Any additional information would come out via X or in a news release.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is at the scene assisting with the investigation, according to a spokesperson for ATF Los Angeles Field Division. FBI San Diego is also assisting as needed, the agency wrote in a statement to NBC 7.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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