Man arrested for killing 1, injuring 2 inside a dental practice

Emergency Response

A 29-year-old man was arrested on February 29 for opening fire inside a California dental office, shooting and killing one man and injuring a female front desk employee and another man, according to multiple news reports.

Following an approximately six-hour manhunt, Mohammed Abdulkareem was arrested for the shooting, which occurred inside a dental practice in El Cajon, CA, which is about 15 minutes outside of San Diego, according to social media reports posted by the El Cajon Police Department.

One man, who has not yet been identified, died at the scene. One of the victims, who works in the front office of the practice, was identified by her father, Jose Antonio, as Yareli Antonio, age 27. Yareli, his only daughter, was shot in the legs and is expected to recover. Her father said she did not know the shooter, according to an article published in Telemundo San Diego.

The third victim, identified as a man in his 40s, was taken to the hospital for his gunshot wounds and was in stable condition, according to police.

Armed with a handgun, Abdulkareem opened fire in the practice at around 4 p.m. After shooting three people, he fled in a white U-Haul pickup truck with an Arizona license plate. In addition to the victims, other people were in the practice at the time of the shooting, according to police.

A video of the U-Haul truck that was captured by the city’s traffic-camera system was used to identify Abdulkareem. After finding the truck at Balboa Park in San Diego, police searched the area, found Abdulkareem, and took him into custody at about 10 p.m., police said.

As of this reporting, there was no word on a possible motive, and authorities have not elaborated about the circumstances that may have led to the shooting. Also, police declined to say whether the shooter knew the victims or if the dental practice was targeted, according to reports.

This incident capped a month of violence inside dental practices across the U.S.

On February 7, Dr. Katherine Tran was stabbed multiple times by a patient, Sharon Stewart, while working at the Louisiana Dental Center in New Orleans. Her recovery is expected to be considerable. She may have lost an eye and underwent hand surgery for her injuries. Stewart, who has been charged with attempted murder, remains in jail awaiting her next court date.

On February 14, a 29-year-old man was arrested and charged with strangulation after starting a fight with a man sitting inside the waiting room of a dental practice in Marlborough, MA.

Additionally, in January, Steven Alexander Smith pleaded guilty to capital murder for the March 2022 shooting deaths of Dr. Jack Burroughs Jr., 75, and Dr. Blake Sinclair, 59, who practiced at Affordable Dentures & Implants in Tyler, TX. Smith, a patient who reportedly killed the dentists because he didn’t like his dentures, was sentenced to life in prison.

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