Authorities Release Names of the 14 People Killed in San Bernardino Shooting
Chelsie Ramirez (L) and her mother, Josie Ramirez-Herndon, join community members during a candlelight vigil at San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino on Thursday to honor the 14 victims of Wednesday's mass shooting. (Marcus Yam/LA Times via Getty Images)
The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Office released the names of the 14 people killed during a mass shooting at Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California, on Wednesday.
The victims ranged in age from 26 to 60.
"This shooting has caused each [victim's] family, friends and co-workers, along with the first responders, to suffer an enormous personal tragedy. We must stand strong and offer support to each individual affected by this senseless attack," stated Sheriff John McMahon.
The victims were memorialized Thursday night at a pair of vigils, the largest at a minor league baseball stadium not far from where they were killed at the Inland Regional Center.
Here are the victims' names, ages and hometowns:
Shannon Johnson, 45, Los Angeles
Deirdre Butchko, a property manager at the building where Johnson lived in Koreatown, told member station KPCC that he was an old-fashioned gentleman.
"He was just really outstanding," she said, contemplating the news. "It hurts."
Butchko said Johnson had moved to the building to free up more money for traveling.
A clerk at a convenience store around the corner said Johnson was a regular customer, and one of the shop's kindest.
Bennetta Betbadal, 46, Rialto
According to her LinkedIn page, Betbadal worked for the county's environmental health services. A Go Fund Me page that has been created in her name says she was born in Iran in 1969. It also says:
"She fled to America at the age of 18 to escape Islamic extremism and the persecution of Christians that followed the Iranian Revolution. Bennetta initially settled in New York City, eventually moving to California and marrying her husband, Arlen Verdehyou, a police officer. They moved to Rialto, California and had three children, now ages 10, 12, and 15."
Aurora Godoy, 26, San Jacinto
Godoy, an office assistant in the Department of Public Health, met her husband in high school through Junior ROTC, the Los Angeles Times reported. She gave birth to a son, Alexander, two years ago.
James Godoy praised his late wife as a devoted mother.
"It was all about him," James Godoy said of his son.
Isaac Amanios, 60, Fontana
Amanios was an immigrant from Ethiopia, Department of Environmental Health receptionist Jenni Kosse told KPCC's Elizabeth Aguilera, and was saving up money to bring his children to the United States.
"He was so proud of his kids," Kosse said. "I asked him about them the last time I saw him in October. And his whole face lit up and he took out pictures. He was such a proud dad. And just was an amazing guy."
Larry Daniel Kaufman, 42, Rialto
The Los Angeles Times reports that Kaufman "ran the coffee shop in building 3 at the Inland Regional Center, training the developmentally disabled clients who worked there." He was remembered on this Facebook page.
Harry Bowman, 46, Upland
The newspaper also reports that Bowman was described as an intelligent man who loved his 15- and 11-year-old daughters, according to family member Bill Kraft.
"Death at its best is hard to take. This type of death is extremely hard to take, especially when you have young children," Kraft told the Times. "There is no way you are going to make them understand."
Yvette Velasco, 27, Fontana
Velasco was an environmental specialist. KPCC spoke to Velasco's uncle, George Velasco, who said she was "an intelligent, motivated, and beautiful young woman, who was full of life and loved by all who knew her."
Yvette is survived by her parents, Robert and Marie Velasco, and her three sisters, Adriana, Erica and Genevieve.
Adams married his high school sweetheart, Summer. He had a 20-month-old daughter. Jenni Kosse, a family friend said, and his adoration for his family was infectious, The Los Angeles Times reports.
"When you saw the three of them together, you just wanted to jump in the middle and think, 'I want to have fun too,' " Kosse said.
Nicholas Thalasinos, 52, Colton
Nicholas's wife, Jennifer, told NPR member station KPCC that her husband had a "very strong faith." He worked as a county environmental specialist. Friends remembered him on his Facebook page.
Tin Nguyen, 31, Santa Ana
Nguyen, who emigrated from Vietnam when she was a child, was planning to get engaged soon to her longtime boyfriend, San Trinh, the Los Angeles Times reported.
"I work day in, day out, saving money. I intended to buy her a new house. We would move her Mom in to live with us. We talked about everything — our marriage, how many kids we wanted to have," the mechanical engineer from Westminster said. "If I could tell people anything from this experience, I'd say: 'Whatever you're planning, don't push it off. Get it done.' "
Juan Espinoza, 50, Highland
Espinoza was married and a father of two daughters and a son, Department of Environmental Health receptionist Jenni Kosse told KPCC. He also grew grapes to make his own wine.
Damian Meins, 58, Riverside
The Los Angeles Times reports that Juan C. Perez, director of Riverside County Transportation & Land Management Agency, emailed employees about Meins' death, calling him a "bright light" that had been "extinguished from our world in a most tragic way."
Michael Wetzel, 37, Lake Arrowhead
Wetzel, who had worked for the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health for years, left behind six children.
KPCC spoke to Wetzel's pastor. "He was an exceptional guy, really he was," Rod Akins said. "I mean, a lot of people tend to highlight people once they've passed, but Michael was one of the most caring and generous guys."
A fundraising campaign has been started by friends of the Wetzel family, and as of late Thursday had collected more than $160,000.
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