Coverage of the deadly June 7 shootings in Santa Monica

Santa Monica Gunman's Family Turmoil Revealed in Court Papers

Marital troubles are documented in a temporary restraining order filed by mother of gunman

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Santa Monica-Malibu schools superintendent revealed that gunman John Zawahri’s mental health problems go back to his teenage years. Teachers had to call police after he became a threat at Santa Monica’s Olympic High School. Angie Crouch reports from Santa Monica for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on June 11, 2013.

    The mother of a gunman who fatally shot five people before he was killed by police during a rampage in Santa Monica said her husband became abusive and once threatened, “If I had a gun it would be over,” court records said.

    John Zawahri's mother, Randa Abdou, sought a restraining order in 1998 against her husband, Samir Zawahri, when she moved from Lebanon to join him in the United States, she wrote in court documents obtained by NBC4.

    Full Coverage: Rampage in Santa Monica

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    [LA] Internet Remains One of Top Sources to Buy Guns
    After the June 7 shootings in Santa Monica, many are asking how gunman John Zawahri obtained the weapon. The internet is one of the top places where people can buy guns legally and illegally. Experts say a lot of the guns sold on the internet illegally cross state lines. Joel Grover reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on June 11, 2013.

    John Zawahri, 23, shot his father and his brother on Friday, leaving their home in flames before shooting at motorists on city streets and others at Santa Monica College during a 15-minute rampage, police said. Three other people were fatally shot before police killed Zawahri in the campus library.

    Investigators were trying to determine whether the family's problems played a role in the killings, which came Friday as Santa Monica College students were taking final exams and as President Barack Obama was three miles away at a fundraiser.

    Santa Monica College Holds Vigil for Shooting Victims

    [LA] Santa Monica College Holds Vigil for Shooting Victims
    A vigil was held on the Santa Monica College campus for the victims of the Santa Monica shootings Monday. The college expected a big turnout, and organizers asked people not to bring candles, but open hearts instead. Beverly White reports from Santa Monica for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on June 10, 2013.

    Samir Zawahri was “verbally abusive,” “controlling,” and “would do anything to make my life miserable,” Abdou wrote in papers filed May 1, 1998 in Los Angeles Superior Court. She said he threatened to take their sons to Canada.

    He once waited for her at work, punched her in the arm and stole her jewelry, purse and uncompleted divorce papers, she said in court papers. He told her that if she got the police involved she would be sorry, court documents said.

    “I declined to press charges because I am afraid of him and did not want to enrage him further,” she wrote.

    Samir Zawahri filed for divorce in 1993, court records said, but it was never finalized and it was unclear if the couple ever divorced.

    Abdou cut short a trip in Lebanon to return to Los Angeles on Sunday, according to the Associated Press. She said in a statement read by a neighbor on Monday that she was in mourning for her family and for those “affected by this horrific tragedy over the past few days."

    In 2006, John Zawahri showed an interest in violence. He was 17 and a student at Olympic High School, a continuation school, when a teacher reported disturbing behavior from the teen during a discussion on weapons and violence.

    “There was an incident a teacher reported where he had talked about violence and weapons and she was concerned," said Sandra Lyon, superintendent of Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. "She then, of course, contacted the principle and the Santa Monica police department was contacted."

    Santa Monica police confirm Zawahri was removed from the school and put under psychiatric lockdown.

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