Inland Empire restaurant owners describe interactions with Syed Farook

Tuesday, December 8, 2015
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Restaurant owners in the Inland Empire are in shock that the inspector who visited their businesses is the suspected San Bernardino gunman.

RIALTO, Calif. (KABC) -- Restaurant owners in the Inland Empire are in shock that the inspector who regularly visited their businesses is one of the San Bernardino suspects, Syed Farook.

The letter grade card from the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health hangs on the window of Coffee Nutzz in Rialto. It bears Farook's signature and was signed less than four months ago.

"Just seemed normal. Nothing that I would think, 'Wow, this guy is, may seem a little off or seem radical,'" said Andy Carrizales, Coffee Nutzz co-owner.

Farook worked as an environmental health specialist for the county. He regularly inspected restaurants in the Rialto area.

MORE: What we know about the San Bernardino mass shooting

Coffee Nutzz owners Andy and Alicia Carrizales say he was polite, often coming to the restaurant just to work. They never thought he was capable of Wednesday's massacre.

"Right away, I checked my e-mail, and sure enough, it was our health inspector that we've had for the last year," said Alicia Carrizales. "We were just in shock."

Farook inspected Brothers Pizza for four years. Manager Luis Diaz said his friendly demeanor made him stand out.

"He would talk to you, he would say, 'Hi, how's it going?' and then we'd go into the inspection. It was a lot different than previous inspectors. He made you feel relaxed," Diaz said.

These business owners say they're still in shock and grieving for the victims and their families.

Andy Carrizales knew one of the 14 victims well - 40-year-old Robert Adams, also a county health inspector.

MORE: Here are the faces of those killed in the San Bernardino shooting

"Robert's smile was just, anytime you went in there, you felt welcome at the health department," he dsaid. "To me, he was the face of the health department."

A spokesperson for the Rialto Unified School District confirmed that Farook was also one of the inspectors who checked some of its schools twice a year.

Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik opened fire in a conference room at the Inland Regional Center last week, where Farook's co-workers were holding a holiday banquet. Fourteen people were killed and 21 others were wounded.

The two were killed hours after the attack during a gunbattle with police.

MORE: How to help victims and families of San Bernardino attack