Watch CBS News

San Diego dentist, a Sacramento native, killed by disgruntled patient

San Diego dentist from Sacramento killed in office shooting
San Diego dentist from Sacramento killed in office shooting 02:37

SACRAMENTO — Sacramento friends and families are in mourning following the tragic deadly shooting of a dentist in San Diego.

That dentist, killed by a disgruntled patient, was from California's capital city. He was a member of the Mosaic Law Congregation synagogue.

A class photo hanging on the synagogue walls shows the bright future of then-10th grader Ben Harouni.

Caren Rubin is the Mosaic Law Congregation executive director. Her son was lifelong best friends with Harouni.

"He knew exactly what he wanted to do. When he was 5 years old, he told me he wanted to be a dentist, like his Dad," Rubin said. 

Harouni's life was tragically taken at 28 years old last week when a gunman, who police say was a disgruntled former customer, shot and killed him inside his El Cajon dentist's office.

El Cajon police arrested the suspect, Mohammed Abdulkareem, and so far say there is no indication the attack was racially or politically motivated.

The Anti-Defamation League of San Diego posted a statement that reads. in part, "given the heightened threat level facing the Jewish community, it is critical that all possible motives including antisemitism be investigated."

Rubin said the arrest is not giving Harouni's family and friends any relief.

"No, no because they don't know why," Rubin said. "Other than being disgruntled, they don't know why. There's been no statement made, and it's not OK. It's just not."

Harouni graduated from Rio Americano High School in Sacramento and then from the University of the Pacific dental school in 2022.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports the dental school will be holding a gathering Tuesday night to honor him.

"I hope this violence ends, it just has to end," Rubin said. "It can't touch everybody in this country like this."  

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.