SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA.com) — A vigil for one person is sad and somber enough. In the coming days, there will be more than 14 vigils, memorials, burials — for 14 people whose lives ended too quickly.
In San Bernardino Thursday and around the Southland — many of them were being remembered, mourned, grieved. Even by strangers.
Veronic Mojica, a San Bernadino mother, came to the site where so many lost their lives. She says she wanted her kids to see the many candles left in memorial — to understand the magnitude of yesterday’s shootings. She was close enough to hear the gunshots yesterday.
“First, it’s the families, [I can’t imagine] what they are going through,” Mojica said.
KCAL9’s Tom Wait reports the victims will all be missed by their loved ones, some too grief-stricken to talk.
Among the victims, Robert Adams. A 40-year-old father and husband who worked as a health inspector for the county.
“When she said that he was there, I thought, oh no, immediately. And there wasn’t any information coming out, except that the shooters were out and she wasn’t able to make contact with him,” says Gloria Boyde, a close friend of Adams’ and his wife, Summer.
Boyde was trying to comfort her Summer as she waited for news about her Robert. Boyde says Adams was a loving father to his 20-month old daughter and a wonderful husband. Boyde read a statement on behalf of Adam’s wife.
“Robert always wanted to be a father and for the past 20 months he was a devoted father to Savannah and cherished every moment with her. He and Summer and Savannah were inseparable. They were planning Savannah’s first trip to Disneyland next week,” the statement read.
Among the others taken too soon, 52-year-old Nicholas Thalasinos. His wife says the couple’s faith is keeping her going.
“I know the Lord has his arms around me and that’s what’s keeping me going,” she said.
Thalisinos says her husband dropped her off yesterday at work where she teaches. It would be the last time she would see him or hear his voice.
“I had snacks I needed to bring in and he said he would bring them. So I actually got in an extra hug and a kiss before he left,” she said.
Students at Notre Dame High School in Riverside sang “Amazing Grace” and also bowed their heads in sadness Thursday remembering 58-year-old Damian Meins, an alumnus of the school. Meins often volunteered here.
“He was part of the chain gang, him and some other alumn, he would come to every football game. They were so proud of our boys, especially this year. They’re undefeated and he was so proud of what they were doing,” says Matthew Luttringer, the school’s principal.
Tin Nguyen of Santa Ana is being remembered as the glue of her family. The 31-year-old touched many lives.
“It’s been so hard on my mom and my grandma. She was always the one to make everyone to gather together and hang out,” says her grandaughter.
And tonight the three children of Bennetta Bet-Bedal are also grieving. Bet-Bedal left Iran as a teen to escape Islamic extremism.
Also among the fallen:
Mike Wetzel, a father of six from Lake Arrowhead. Daniel Kauffman of Rialto — he ran a coffee shop where he trained disabled people for jobs.
Sierra Clayborn was just 27. Her sister posted on Facebook “I love you more than you ever knew.”
Aurora Godoy of San Jacinto married her high school sweetheart and the couple had a son.
50-year-old Juan Espinoza of Highland was married with two children.
Yvette Velasco of Fontana was single with three sisters.
45-year-old Shannon Johnson lived in Los Angeles.
Isaaac Amanios was from Fontana — married and had three children.
And Harry Bowman lived in Upland. Bowman leaves behind two teenaged daughters.
People who knew one of the shooters, Syed Farook, said he was very quiet, he kept to himself and no one saw this violence coming.