Photo Credit: El Cajon Police Department
Mohammed Abdulkareem shot and killed Jewish dentist Dr. Benjamin Ariel Harouni, February 29, 2024.

Dr. Benjamin Ariel Harouni, 21, a dentist from El Cajon, in the San Diego, California area, was murdered last Thursday in his SmilePlus Dentistry practice by his “disgruntled” patient Mohammed Abdulkareem, 29. The shooter stormed the clinic at 4:15 PM and fired at two men and one woman inside.

SmilePlus Dentistry practice in San Diego

Emergency personnel reached the location in under two minutes, yet regrettably, one victim, the owner, succumbed to his injuries on-site. The remaining individuals were swiftly transported to the hospital, where they were reported to be in serious but stable condition.


The El Cajon Police Department reported the suspect fled the scene in a white U-Haul pick-up with Arizona plates. El Cajon Police Department employees viewed the City’s Flock license plate reader system and were able to obtain a license plate and photograph of the U-Haul truck. Detectives used the license plate information to determine that Abdulkareem had rented the vehicle in San Diego. Having that information so quickly allowed for the photo of the truck and license plate information to be sent out to the public through news media and police department social media platforms to assist in locating Abdulkareem.

Approximately five hours following the shooting incident, authorities apprehended Abdulkareem following a citizen’s report of an abandoned rental truck in San Diego, some 20 miles from the dental office. Abdulkareem was discovered nearby, armed with a loaded handgun and carrying several loaded handgun magazines.

According to police, Abdulkareem bought the gun two weeks earlier and rented the U-Haul only an hour before carrying out the attack.

Stop Antisemitism noted that local media have already been suggesting the shooter was mentally unstable, “something we often see when we have Jewish victims (the Colleyville TX hostage situation, the Lakewood Hanukkah machete murder of a Rabbi, and the Jersey City mass murder spree).”


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