Readers share memories of the San Bernardino shooting victims


We are asking readers to help us tell the stories of the 14 people killed in Wednesday’s shooting rampage in San Bernardino.

Their identities were released by the coroner as a stark list of names, ages and hometowns. Friends, colleagues and loved ones are remembering them for their compassion, integrity and devotion.

Most were at the Inland Regional Center to attend a holiday party with coworkers. All were caught in the gunfire when coworker Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, left the gathering and returned with his wife, Tashfeen Malik, 29, on a murderous mission.


Know any of the victims? Share your remembrance »

More about their lives: A complete list of victims and their stories »

What I remember most was his gentle but firm demeanor. He didn’t just inspect; he also educated and informed which, in turn, let us serve our public better.

— Elizabeth R. Carr, co-owner of a restaurant he inspected

He did anything possible to give his family a better life. He always had open doors to anyone. He will be missed but in our eyes he will always be a hero.

— Bianca


I had some issues at school and she set out to keep me safe always.

— Kim Cota, who said she knew Betbedal through her role in her school

I could tell Bennetta was the best mother she could be to Jolene. They were so sweet.

— Debbie, who saw Bennetta with her daughter when they visited her place of work, European Wax Center

Damian Meins dressed up as Santa Claus every year for our kids and their Christmas pictures. He never hesitated to put on that suit and create memories for our kids.

— Laurie Nusbaum, parent of a child who had Meins as a teacher


Harry was one of the smartest people I have ever met. He will be missed greatly.

— Irene Franco, a co-worker

Tio Juan was a hardworking, loyal, honest and strict person but at the same time was a loving leader and advisor. He was someone who we could rely on and tell all our secrets.

— Zhenia Ponce De Leon, remembering Espinoza’s role as an uncle

He always called us ‘Mija,’ a term of endearment.....I always felt special when he was around. I think many of us felt this way-special.

— Rosario Idalia, niece

Everyone’s favorite ... and he reciprocated by making every one of us feel like we were his favorite, too.

— Daniel Castaneda, nephew

Tío Juanito fue el más estricto, honrado, honesto, hacia las cosas siempre como deben de ser, no tomaba atajos. Gracias por tu luz!

— Dagny Castañeda, niece


Uncle Johnny was the most strict, the most honored, and the most honest, always doing things the way they should be done, taking no shortcuts. Thank you for your light!

— Dagny Castañeda, niece (Translated from above)

Aurora always had a good attitude and smile on her face even in difficult working conditions. I enjoyed working with her very much. She had so much joy in her.

— Rhonds Neill

She was an amazing aunt to my niece.

— Alejandra Chavez, a family friend

My favorite memory was the day we graduated. We had gone through the toughest 4 years of our lives together and we were elated to have finally reached our graduation day.

— Jacqueline Juarez, a classmate at UC Riverside


She had a very calm attitude towards problems. But what made her unique was that she emanated this aurora of positivity regardless of how dire the situations may be.

— Marcus worked as a resident assistant with Sierra Clayborn, 27, when both were in school at UC Riverside

She always had a smile on her face and enjoyed having conversations with us Baristas. Her laughter and joy was infectious.

— Melissa Lock who worked at the Starbucks at Big Bear where Clayborn was a regular customer

He loved his co-workers, said it was like working for the United Nations and how he had co-workers from all over the world....May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace.

— Toni Arene, who considered Johnson a mentor

I have rarely in my life come across an individual who has stood out to me as such a kind and decent man.

— Benjamin Vagnozzi who ran a small catering business Johnson inspected

When you see a health inspector, nine times out of 10 you say ‘Oh my god.’ I never felt like that when he came. He was great at his job.

— Susan Wangeman, manager of a restaurant Johnson inspected


She was extremely sweet and one of the most pleasant inspectors. I only met her a few times, but every time I go out to eat in town I see her signature on the letter grades.

— Ashley Gereau, who said Yvette inspected her employer, Loma Linda University Medical Center

She said to go for what I would love to do. Go for what you what will make you happy and not for money.

— John Velasco, on the advice his cousin gave him about choosing a career. Today he is a pastry chef.

He could make you feel like the aspects that made you feel weak were your superpowers, he turned victims into survivors in one conversation.

— Tatiana Green, who met Kaufman through Renaissance Faire

I would see Daniel every morning on my way into the office. He always had a kind word, a smile or joke for everyone. You could have a conversation with him that could last forever.

— Kirstyn Bruno, former coworker


I will miss seeing him wave happily to me as he walked by. Even if we couldn’t stop to chat, he always made sure to say hello.

— Miranda Farny, who participated in renaissance fair with Daniel

Daniel never met a stranger. His smile was continuous and his laughter contagious. He was beautiful.

— Sara (Bentley) Randolph, who said that when they were young she and Daniel met at coffee shops to discuss metaphysics and stayed up late to play Dungeons and Dragons

I hope he’s at skyfaire with the others we’ve lost over the years, telling good stories and enjoying the afterlife. Rest in peace, good sir.

— Stephanie riggs, a friend from Renaissance Faire

He would talk about finishing school, his wife and his child. Very kind hearted and funny guy, always had a smile and crazy stories to share. I am honored to have met him.

— Angel, who works at the county’s motor pool, got to know the 40-year-old father when Adams picked up cars.


She promised that no matter what, she would return to have her wedding there and now we’re having her funeral.

— Vanessa Nguyen, mother of Tin Nguyen, on St. Barbara’s Catholic Church in Santa Ana

He was always laughing and making jokes. He was so easy to get along with.

— Chris Roberts, a fraternity brother and roommate of Wetzel