A San Bernardino County health inspector who shared a cubicle with terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook says that he believes all citizens “should be armed to defend themselves” in order to help stop attacks like the one that unfolded at a holiday party at the Inland Regional Center on Wednesday.
Patrick Baccari had excused himself to go to the bathroom at the same time that that Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, stormed the event and began shooting. They fired 76 rounds, killing 14 and injuring 21 more.
Baccari said he was “pummeled with bullets” as he was pulling towels out of the towel dispenser in the restroom. Luckily, he suffered only minor injuries.
As the shooting has renewed debate over how to thwart such attacks, Baccari told CNN on Thursday that armed citizens could have helped.
“I believe every citizen here should be armed to defend themselves in the case of this happening,” he said, noting “that’s not everybody else’s belief.”
“I couldn’t have defended anybody from the position I was in, even if I was armed, but at least if they tried to come in and get us in that rest room, I’d have some way of maybe protecting the rest of us,” added Bacarri, who shared a cubicle with Farook for three years at the San Bernardino County health department.
The shooting has renewed calls from Democrats for more gun control. Others say that the types of policies Democrats are floating would not have stopped the type of incident that unfolded on Wednesday. Stricter laws also will not deter terrorists, gun rights supporters maintain.
Asked why he think Farook attacked the holiday party and killed so many of his co-workers, Bacarri hinted at Farook’s extremist views.
“I think his beliefs were contrary to our American Dream,” Bacarri told CNN. Evidence is continuing to emerge that Wednesday’s attack was Islamist terrorism. Farook visited Saudi Arabia and Pakistan in recent years. A devout Muslim, he is also believed to have been in contact with known terrorists living in Somalia and Syria.
It was also reported on Friday that Malik posted a message on Facebook during Wednesday’s attack pledging allegiance to ISIS.