Reports: Friend of California Shooter Arrested for Supplying Guns

Ken Bredemeier

The friend and neighbor who supplied the guns to the couple who massacred 14 people in a California office two weeks ago has been arrested, according to authorities.

State and federal officials tell two major newspapers – The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post that Enrique Marquez has not yet been formally charged. But those charges could include making false statements in connection with a gun purchase.

If Marquez bought the weapons knowing that Syed Rizwan Farook and his Pakistani-born wife Tashfeen Malik planned a terrorist attack, he could face life in prison

Marquez bought the guns legally. Federal investigators are looking into exactly when he bought them and turned them over to his friend Farook, the American-born California gunman.

Police crime photos are displayed during a Dec. 4 press conference in San Bernardino, Calif.

Police crime photos are displayed during a Dec. 4 press conference in San Bernardino, Calif.

Authorities say Marquez may have purchased the weapons as part of a 2012 terrorist attack that he and Farook talked about carrying out. They gave up the plot when agents arrested other California suspects who planned to go to Afghanistan to kill U.S. soldiers.

Marquez was a friend and neighbor of Farook in Riverside, California, and even married into Farook’s extended family. The two would spend hours together taking apart and fixing old cars, and talking about Islam.

Marquez had converted to Islam, but apparently lost interest in the religion. He had been working as a doorman in a bar and checked himself in at a mental-health clinic just after the massacre.

The FBI said Marquez has been cooperative.

This July 27, 2014 photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows Tashfeen Malik, left, and Syed Farook, as they passed through O'Hare International Airport in Chicago.

This July 27, 2014 photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows Tashfeen Malik, left, and Syed Farook, as they passed through O’Hare International Airport in Chicago.

Farook and Malik murdered 14 and wounded 22 at a local government office in San Bernardino, 100 km east of Los Angeles. They also left behind a pipe bomb that failed to go off before they escaped in a car to nearby Riverside. They were killed in a gunbattle with police, leaving behind thousands of rounds of ammunition and a lot of bomb-making material in their house.

The couple were apparently followers of Islamic State. FBI chief James Comey said the pair made a commitment two years ago to launch an attack even before they met in person and married.

But there is still no evidence they were part of a foreign terrorist group or an organized terrorist cell.

Malik underwent three background investigations before she was allowed into the United States on a fiancee visa, which required her to marry Farook within 90 days.

Attorneys for family members of Farook and Malik say authorities released their bodies earlier this week and they were buried Tuesday in southern California.

U.S. President Barack Obama is planning to hold private meetings Friday in San Bernardino with families who lost loved ones in the attack.