Watch CBS News

Threatening Encounter With Gunman And Teachers 7 Years Ago Raised Concerns

SANTA MONICA ( — An encounter between his high school teachers and John Zawahiri raised concerns seven years ago that he was potentially dangerous.

A former school resource officer told KCAL9's Cristy Fajardo that while the alleged gunman was a student at Santa Monica High, she had a run-in with him.

He reportedly threatened students and teachers and was reportedly making pipe bombs.

She said at the time, Zawahiri was put on a 72-hour psychiatric hold and later hospitalized for a month. At the time, the school officer said she felt Zawahiri had potential to pull off a Columbine-type attack.

A district school superintendent would only confirm Zawahiri left the school and was sent to Olympic High, a continuation school in 2006.

In a statement, the administrator said, "I cannot discuss this former student's record due to strict privacy laws, but I can stress, that as a matter of policy, any time a student demonstrates concerning behavior, our district works closely with law enforcement and mental health agencies to take swift action."

Meanwhile, Sunday evening, outside the home where the rampage started, friends of the gunman's older brother, who he also allegedly killed, gathered to mourn him.

Friends are taking Christopher Zawahiri's loss very hard. "We're just trying to keep it together," said one life-long pal.

They wonder why the 25-year-old rarely spoke of his younger brother. They also wished Chris would have been elsewhere and not visiting his father that fateful day.

"He was a real good guy," said a friend, "always laughing, always smiling."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.