14 people slain in San Bernardino identified

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SAN BERNARDINO, CA – A man who had worked in public health on the East and West Coasts was among the 14 people killed Wednesday in the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California.

Nicholas Thalasinos, 52, worked for the San Bernardino County Environmental Health Department. He had also worked at Cape May County’s Department of Health in New Jersey from 1988 until 2002, according to CNN affiliate WPVI.

His wife, Jenn Thalasinos, told KTLA she had a bad feeling her husband had died when she heard about the shooting.

“The waiting was excruciating because you’re trying to hold out hope,” she said.

In what appears to be a coincidence, Thalasinos posted on Facebook that he received a death threat the evening before he was killed from an “anti-Semitic” Facebook user. That man’s profile listed Ukraine as the location. Nothing on the page, however, indicated a link to Wednesday’s events.

Thalasinos referred to himself as a Zionist and often posted pro-Israel messages.

The San Bernardino County Coroner on Thursday released the names of the 14 people killed in the shooting at the health department holiday party at a government conference center. Twenty-one people were wounded in the violence.

Another victim was Michael Raymond Wetzel, 37, who had six children and worked for the San Bernardino Environmental Health Department, according to CNN affiliate KTLA.

His wife, Renee, “wanted everybody to know he was the most amazing person she ever met. He was her best friend. He was an amazing father and was loved by all,” said Celia Behar, the Wetzel family spokesperson.

The other people slain have been identified as:

  • Shannon Johnson, 45, Los Angeles.
  • Bennetta Bet-Badal, 46, Rialto.
  • Aurora Godoy, 26, San Jacinto.
  • Isaac Amanios, 60, Fontana.
  • Larry Kaufman, 42, Rialto.
  • Harry Bowman, 46, Upland.
  • Yvette Velasco, 27, Fontana.
  • Sierra Clayborn, 27, Moreno Valley.
  • Robert Adams, 40, Yucaipa.
  • Tin Nguyen, 31, Santa Ana.
  • Juan Espinoza, 50, Highland.
  • Damian Meins, 58, Riverside.

A man and woman entered the conference center at the Inland Regional Center on Wednesday morning and began firing automatic weapons at a group of environmental health department employees attending a holiday party.

Police later killed the couple, Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, in a shootout. Farook was an employee of the health department and had been attending the party before he left and returned with his wife and weapons, police said.

At least 10 people were still hospitalized, split evenly between Arrowhead Regional Medical Center and Loma Linda University Medical Center. Loma Linda hospital CEO Kerry Heinrich said two victims there were in critical condition.

A San Bernardino police officer was shot in the leg and should be released from the hospital soon, Burguan said. A sheriff’s deputy suffered cuts to the legs because of broken glass and shrapnel, he said.

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