Man Who Bought Rifles In San Bernardino Shooting Related To Attacker By Marriage
Enrique Marquez, the man who bought assault rifles used by San Bernardino shooters Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, was related to Farook by marriage.Officials have continued to probe into Marquez's background as part of their investigation into last Wednesday's mass shooting that killed 14 and injured 21, and searched his home on Sunday. Marquez is cooperating with investigators and answering their questions, according to CNN, and has even waived his Miranda rights.
The 24-year-old Riverside resident is married to Mariya Chernykh, a Russian woman whose sister, Tatiana, is married to Syed Raheel Farook, the brother of one of the San Bernardino shooters. Chernykh and Marquez signed a marriage license on Nov. 29, 2014, and afterwards submitted a citizenship application. However, friends of Marquez say their relationship seemed troubled whenever he spoke of it, and some never even met Chernykh. "It was like an arranged marriage," friend Michael G. Scott told ABC News.
Reviewing public records and social media, ABC found that Chernykh shared an address with another man, Oscar Romero, and had several photos of herself, Romero, and a baby girl they referred to as their daughter. They even referred to each other as husband and wife, and Chernykh used the name Maria Romero on Russian social media sites.
"Whenever [Marquez] would talk about [his marriage], he would look sad,” Marquez's friend Vivianna Ramirez told ABC. "He never really talked about her or brought her around, but it just didn't seem like it was going in a positive direction."
Marquez was a childhood friend and neighbor of Farook's. Marquez was also a convert to Islam who previously attended the same mosque as Farook's sister and brother-in-law Saira and Farhan Khan. He told investigators he had no prior knowledge of the attack and authorities have not named him as a suspect in the case. He checked himself into a mental health facility after hearing about the attack.
At today's House Judiciary Committee meeting, FBI director James B. Comey said the bureau was looking into whether Farook and Malik's wedding was arranged by a terror group. "It would be a very, very important thing to know," said Cowan.