Dentist shot dead by 'disgruntled' former patient

Monday, March 04, 2024
 – A man shot and killed his former dentist in an altercation on Thursday afternoon, Feb. 29, according to police.

Authorities accuse Mohammed Abdulkareem, 29, of storming into Smile Plus Dentistry & Orthodontics in El Cajon, southern California, with a gun at around 4.15pm. Wearing all black, he is alleged to have opened fire and struck two men and one woman.

Reports state Abdulkareem then fled the scene in a U-Haul pick-up truck, sparking a five-hour manhunt that ended after a concerned citizen reported the vehicle abandoned in San Diego, about 20 miles away.

The suspect was found nearby the truck, allegedly in possession of a loaded handgun and several magazines.

The dentist died at the scene, while the other two victims were rushed to hospital in a condition described as “serious but stable.”

The dead man is Dr. Benjamin Harouni, a Jewish dentist who worked at the practice, which is owned by his father.

He is understood to have celebrated his birthday just nine days before the shooting.

One of those injured in the attack has been identified as the dental-clinic receptionist, Yareli Carrillo, 29. She was wounded in the leg during the Thursday afternoon attack in the San Diego suburb of El Cajon. Carrillo was wounded along with a 40-year-old employee.

Reports indicate the alleged attack was planned out well in advance, with records showing Abdulkareem legally purchased the gun two weeks ago, though the truck was only rented a few hours before the incident took place.

El Cajon Police Department said in a statement: “While the exact motive behind the shooting remains under investigation, it is believed that Abdulkareem was a disgruntled former customer.”

The slain dentist was buried Sunday morning, Feb. 3, at El Camino Memorial Park in San Diego.

Abdulkareem has since been booked into a San Diego jail, without bail, on charges including murder and attempted murder.

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