Friday, June 21, 2013

Murder LA 000026

by James Cohen

Monday, June 17th 2013.

"John, unfortunately, was spoiled, ungrateful. And what he did is evil, evil, evil." Mansour El Zawahri traveled from Canada to Santa Monica for his brother's funeral. 55-year-old Samir Zawahri was laid to rest along with his two sons, Christopher and John. John, of course, was responsible for all three deaths and more.

Attending the funeral was the sole survivor of the immediate family, Samir's estranged wife Randa Abdou, who was visiting family in Lebanon at the time of the murders. Randa reportedly spoke to her son, John, about half an hour before he killed his father and brother.
John Zawahri

Afterwards he set ablaze the house he shared with his father -- Chris did not live there -- and set out armed with a rifle which he had assembled himself due to the illegality of its sale and 1300 rounds of ammunition in a duffel bag. He also carried a "farewell" note, the exact contents of which have not yet been made public, though it is said to contain no motive.

Zawahri carjacked an unidentified woman, forcing her to drive him less than 2 miles to Santa Monica college. He opened fire on vehicles during transport, killing Carlos Franco and his daughter Marcela. Franco, an employee of Santa Monica College, died immediately. Marcela, an SMC student, died a couple of days later. SMC has set up a Memorial Fund.

Possible route
When Zawahri got to SMC he encountered 68-year-old Margarita Gomez, who was known around campus for collecting recyclables, the proceeds of which she donated to charity. A custodian recounts "She was reaching for cans. He was walking very slow. When you have eye contact with her, she gives a smile. She smiled to him." And then he shot her. An online fundraiser has been set up to help pay for Gomez' funeral.

The gunman headed to the school library but was soon shot dead. His rampage lasted only about 15 minutes and though he injured several more people, he only got off an estimated 100 rounds.

SMC remained on lockdown for hours as rumors flew of a second assailant, which proved spurious. The college cancelled classes that day and did not reopen for business until the following Monday, though the library remained closed longer. Over the weekend, however, they did offer counseling and starting Sunday people were allowed to return to retrieve items left behind.

Zawahri's burning residence
John took classes in SMC's Academy of Entertainment & Technology but had no disciplinary actions against him there.

A history of family trouble has come to light; Randa applied for a restraining order against her husband when John was nine, claiming that Samir was abusive. And John himself had been investigated and mentally evaluated seven years ago when he was allegedly "learning to make explosives". He was prohibited from purchasing firearms for five years.

At the end of the day, with John Zawahri and most of his immediate family dead, we may never know why he lashed out so violently.



Elisa Lam, the woman found dead in the water tower of the Cecil Hotel, was not murdered, according to authorities.



At 5th and Broadway, a short distance from Cecil Hotel, a tow truck driver, said not to have a proper license for operating the truck he owns, ran a red light and hit a bus, causing the death of MTA driver Olivia Gamboa. She had been working for Metro 13 years. Her surviving husband and daughter apparently work for the transit company as well. She worked early shifts so she could watch her grandson in the afternoons.

Site of crash