LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Julie Paez was just getting ready to pose for a picture with her colleagues at San Bernardino’s Inland Regional Center last year when her life changed forever.
As Paez and her colleagues from the San Bernardino County public health department gathered for a holiday celebration, Sayeed Farook and Tashfeen Malik stormed into the room and opened fire. Fourteen people were killed.READ MORE: 3 Children Stabbed To Death In Reseda Apartment; Mother Captured In Central California After Going On The Run
Paez was shot twice in the pelvis. She was among 22 people who were injured.
“We were just standing getting ready to take the picture,” Paez said. “A couple pictures were taken when he came shooting through the room.”
In those seconds, Paez didn’t know if she would live or die. Her coworker and his wife opened the doors to their conference room and started shooting.
“At that time is when I got down. I was not shot standing up,” she said. “I was shot while I was down … [he] came back and shot me again. After the first shot I couldn’t move because it went through my pubic bone and shattered my pelvis.”
Unsure if she would survive, Paez texted her family.
“I said, ‘Love you guys, was shot,'” she recalled. “I figured, worst case, they hear ‘I love you’ for the last time. Best case, they know to start looking for me.”
One of those killed was Daniel Kaufman, who worked at the cafe in the Inland Regional Center.
His partner Ryan Reyes spent almost 24 hours trying to find out if he had survived.
“I immediately went into panic mode and was trying to contact his employer, trying to contact his aunt,” Reyes said.READ MORE: LAPD Searching For 3 Men Suspected Of Posing As Construction Workers, Burglarizing Homes
Reyes would later learn that Kaufman was killed while taking a break. He was among the first victims killed by the terrorists.
A year later, the pain remains. Reyes says not an hour goes by that he doesn’t think about Kaufman.
“The smallest little conversations and stuff like that — those all have a tendency to pop back up and replay in your mind,” Reyes said.
For survivors, support from the community has been a source of strength.
“It’s just the amount of love and community support that we have all received. It’s incredible,” Paez said.
But Paez and others say they have not received enough support from San Bernardino County. They say the workers comp system has denied them critical medications and treatments.
They recently raised the issue at a special meeting of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors.
Paez is incredulous that her claims have been denied by her own colleagues.
“Our colleagues at the county are workers comp,” she said.
The county has said it will hire a firm to expedite the workers compensation claims.MORE NEWS: Hideki Matsuyama Makes History As First Japanese Man To Win Golf Major