Advertisement
World

Who were the victims of the San Bernardino massacre?

WATCH ABOVE: John Blackstone looks at some of the victims in the San Bernardino, California mass shooting.

The names of the 14 people who lost their lives Wednesday in an attack in San Bernardino have been released by the county coroner’s office.

A number of the victims were staff members of San Bernardino County’s Environmental Health Services division. It was a colleague, Syed Rizwan Farook, a 28-year-old restaurant inspector, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, 27, who were behind the attack at a social service center shortly after Farook slipped away from an employee banquet he was attending there.

Here’s what we know so far about the victims.

Yvette Velasco

This photo shows Yvette Velasco. She was one of the victims of a shooting at a social service facility in San Bernardino, Calif., Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015.
This photo shows Yvette Velasco. She was one of the victims of a shooting at a social service facility in San Bernardino, Calif., Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. (Courtesy of George Velasco via AP)

Velasco is being described by her family as smart, motivated and full of life.

Story continues below advertisement

In a statement, her relatives said she was “loved by all who knew her.”

“We are devastated about what happened and are still processing this nightmare,” the family said.

READ MORE: Police officer describes ‘unspeakable’ carnage in San Bernardino shooting

Velasco is survived by her parents and three sisters.

“Please pray for our family and the other families who have lost a loved one as a result of this terrible tragedy,” her relatives wrote.

In the aftermath of the shooting, Velasco’s relatives searched everywhere for her. Mindy Velasco, her aunt, called hospitals, police and evacuee centers in a harrowing search for information, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“I’m fearing the worst,” she told the paper. “She would definitely be in contact after something like this.”

Elizabeth Faron, a friend of Velasco’s from college, remembered her friend as “amazing, very sweet, friendly and affectionate.”

Michael Wetzel

San Bernardino victim Michael Wetzel (left) and his family.
San Bernardino victim Michael Wetzel (left) and his family. YouCaring.com / Global News

A YouCaring fundraising page has been started for the family of victim Michael Raymond Wetzel,37, which states he leaves behind six children.

Story continues below advertisement

Wetzel supervised a team of health inspectors for the county.

The page says that Renee Wetzel, Michael’s wife, had sent a frantic message to friends when the shooting began.

“Please pray. My husband was in a meeting and a shooter came in. There are multiple people dead/shot. I can’t get a hold of him.” She found out eight hours later he was one of the victims.

The page has raised more than $100,000 in donations.

Sierra Clayborn

Sierra-Clayborn

Sierra Clayborn, 27, was a county inspector.

On her Facebook page she described herself as a creative person with a “fun outlook on life” who loved her friends and her “blooming career in public and environmental health.”

Story continues below advertisement

Clayborn had recently altered her Facebook profile picture to show solidarity with victims of November’s attacks in Paris.

“Even as you go, your picture is out of love for victims elsewhere. You are so beautiful Sierra. Miss you,” a friend commented on Clayborn’s photo a day after the San Bernardino attacks.

Damian Meins

Damian-Meins

Described by friends as kind and compassionate, Damian Meins, 58, was married to his high school sweetheart. He and his wife Trenna have two daughters, according to the Press-Enterprise, and Meins was known to dress up as Santa to pose for pictures with students of a local school.

Meins had started working in September with the county’s Department of Environmental Health. He had previously been retired.

Story continues below advertisement

A graduate of Notre Dame High School, principal Matthew M. Luttringer posted on the school’s alumni Facebook page that Meins was a valued member of the community.

“Damian loved Notre Dame, and often volunteered time with us as a member of the football team ‘Chain Gang.’ His death has affected our community deeply. He will be missed.”

Tweet This

Nicholas Thalasinos

Victim Nicholas Thalasinos is shown with his wife Jennifer.
Victim Nicholas Thalasinos is shown with his wife Jennifer. Facebook / Global News

Environmental health specialist Nicholas Thalasinos, 52, was friendly with co-worker and accused gunman Farook, Thalasinos’ wife Jennifer told the New York Times. She said the two were in the same “little group” of employees.

“He had worked with him,” Jennifer said of her husband. “He had talked about him. Nothing negative.”

Tweet This
Story continues below advertisement

A GoFundMe page has been started in Thalasinos’ name to help with the “funeral and associated costs and to help her get back on her feet once she has come to grips with this tragedy.”

The fundraising page said the couple, who had been together for 14 years, had met online and “had a very deep, spiritual relationship.”

Robert Adams

San Bernardino victim Robert Adams is seen with his wife and young daughter.
San Bernardino victim Robert Adams is seen with his wife and young daughter. GoFundMe / Global News

Robert Adams, 40, was a devoted family man and an employee of the county’s public health department.

“Throughout the day and night of December 2nd, we prayed, hoped, and pleaded with God to somehow spare the life of the remarkable Robert Adams; however, during the senseless mass shooting in San Bernardino, we lost Robert,” a GoFundMe page for Adams’ daughter and wife states.

Story continues below advertisement

“All day we waited for news that he was safely coming home to his beautiful wife Summer and his absolutely precious daughter, Savannah. It is now confirmed this will not be happening.”

“This fund has been set up to help with the needs of Summer and Savannah in the following days, weeks, and months of life without their cherished Robert.”

Tweet This

Daniel Kaufman

Daniel Kaufman, 42, ran an independently owned coffee shop inside the Inland Regional Center where the county health workers were using a hall for their holiday banquet. The shop’s workers included people with developmental disabilities, which can include epilepsy, autism and intellectual disabilities.

Kaufman, of Rialto, was an avid participant in the Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Southern California each spring, said friend Katherine Panowicz, who had known him for 15 years.

She said he typically participated in parades, carrying either a pennant or a lance on a make-believe horse. The fair community is devastated to lose a friend with such a big smile, she said.

“It would change the entire environment of a room just because he had a big brilliant smile,” she said.

Tweet This
Story continues below advertisement

The other victims have been named as Shannon Johnson, 45, of Los Angeles, Bennetta Bet-Badal, 46, of Rialto, Aurora Godoy, 26, of San Jacinto, Isaac Amanios, 60, of Fontana, Harry Bowman, 46, of Upland, Yvette Velasco, 27, of Fontana, Tin Nguyen, 31, of Santa Ana, Juan Espinoza, 50, of Highland.

New York Giants’ safety Nat Berhe, whose home town is San Bernardino, tweeted Thursday about the loss of his cousin. He did not identify his cousin by name.

“The true terror is that this keep happening. I still can’t believe it,” Berhe said in another tweet. “Take a moment to think of the families hurting right now.”

Tweet This

Juan Espinoza

Espinoza, of Highland, was remembered by a former co-worker.

Scott Wyatt met Espinoza about 10 years ago when Wyatt worked in a juvenile court teacher and Espinoza was a corrections officer.

“He was a simple guy, quiet, a person who didn’t like attention, just liked to do what he had to do,” said Wyatt. “This hits close to home.”

According to media reports, Espinoza was a health inspector with San Bernardino County.

Story continues below advertisement

A Mexican federal official said Espinoza was born in Mexico and emigrated to the United States more than 20 years ago. Mexican consular officials contacted Espinoza’s family anyway to offer assistance, but the family said none was needed at the moment. The official was not authorized to be quoted by name.

Aurora Banales Godoy

Godoy was married and the mother of an infant son, her aunt, Rebecca Godoy, said in Facebook post that linked to Godoy’s own page.

“Yesterday in the shootings in San Bernardino many families were affected. Ours was one of them,” Rebecca Godoy wrote. “We will keep her flame alive so that her young son does not forget his special mother.”

Cindy Quinones, a cousin of Godoy’s, said her husband was devastated by the death of his wife.

“I feel like numb. It hasn’t hit us yet. We’re still trying to make sense of all this,” Quinones said at a vigil held Thursday night in San Bernardino.

Below is a full list from the coroner’s office of victims who died: 

  • Robert Adams, 40, of Yucaipa, Calif.
  • Isaac Amanios, 60, of Fontana, Calif.
  • Bennetta Betbadal, 46, of Rialto, Calif.
  • Harry Bowman, 46, of Upland, Calif.
  • Sierra Clayborn, 27, of Moreno Valley, Calif.
  • Juan Espinoza, 50, of Highland, Calif.
  • Aurora Godoy, 26, of San Jacinto, Calif.
  • Shannon Johnson, 45, of Los Angeles.
  • Larry Kaufman, 42, of Rialto, Calif.
  • Damian Meins, 58, of Riverside, Calif.
  • Tin Nguyen, 31, of Santa Ana, Calif.
  • Nicholas Thalasinos, 52, of Colton, Calif.
  • Yvette Velasco, 27, of Fontana, Calif.
  • Michael Wetzel, 37, of Lake Arrowhead, Calif.
Story continues below advertisement

With files from the Associated Press. More to come.

Global News Redesign Global News Redesign
A fresh new look for Global News is here, tell us what you think
Take a Survey

Sponsored Stories