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Wednesday, July 17, 2024 | Back issues
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San Bernardino Terror Attack Victims Remembered on 1st Anniversary

Several memorials will be held Friday to remember the victims of Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik’s terror attack on the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino on Dec. 2, 2015.

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (CN) – Several memorials will be held Friday to remember the victims of Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik’s terror attack on the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino on Dec. 2, 2015.

Community leaders and county employees will gather at several events throughout the day to memorialize the victims. The San Bernardino Police Department held a 14-mile memorial bike ride in honor of the 14 people killed.

At 10:58 a.m., county workers observed a moment of silence in memory of the victims – marking the time the first 911 call was placed. Twenty-two people were seriously wounded during the attack.

Later in the afternoon, events are planned at the Peace Garden of the California State University-San Bernardino campus. The garden is dedicated to the memory of alumni who were killed in the attack: Robert Adams, Juan Espinoza, Shannon Johnson, Yvette Velasco and Michael Wetzel, according to the University website.

The university will host a Night of Remembrance at the Coussoulis Arena. A light display is planned in the city’s foothills.

San Bernardino Mayor Carey Davis said he was “humbled” by the community’s plans to unite to remember the events of a year ago.

“Our community continues to stand together united in solidarity and support for the victims, survivors and families of those affected by the Dec. 2 terrorist attack,” Davis said in a statement.

County health inspector Farook and his Pakistan-born wife Malik opened fire on county employees at the Inland Regional Center during a training day. They were killed the same day after a shootout with police on the streets of San Bernardino.

Authorities say the attack was inspired by Islamic terrorists though no direct links to a foreign terrorist group have been uncovered.  Only one person has been arrested and charged with supporting Farook and Malik.

Enrique Marquez Jr.  is accused of buying the assault rifles and explosives used in the attack. Court filings in the case revealed that Farook had introduced radical Islamic literature to Marquez.

A year after the attack, the investigation is ongoing.

Marquez told investigators that he and Farook had earlier abandoned plans to mount terrorist attacks on Riverside Community College and on the 91 freeway. Marquez distanced himself from Farook after their plans collapsed, according to his indictment.

This past January, Marquez pleaded not guilty to the terrorism charges. His trial is scheduled for next year.

San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan told the Los Angeles Times on Thursday that the exact motives for the attack are still unclear.

“There are a lot of questions, and we don’t have all the answers,” he said. “We never established the motive. The best we can do is theorize.”

In the midst of Friday's events, there is a palpable sense of betrayal among county workers who survived the attack.

Reports emerged this week describing how victims of the attack had struggled to get the help they need from a workers’ compensation program the county administers.

Employees said that they had seen delays in medication or treatment they had needed, and in some cases the treatment had been denied altogether.

“There’s a level of secondary trauma that has occurred to all of us,” Ray Britain, a county worker on the day of the attack, told the Los Angeles Times. “We were abandoned and betrayed by a co-worker, and when we asked our employer for help, a lot of us were abandoned and betrayed by them.”

Those killed in the shooting were Shannon Johnson, 45, of Los Angeles; Bennetta Bet-Badal, 46, of Rialto; Aurora Godoy, 26, of San Jacinto; Isaac Amanios, 60, of Fontana; Larry Kaufman, 42, of Rialto; Harry Bowman, 46, of Upland; Yvette Velasco, 27, of Fontana; Sierra Clayborn, 27, of Moreno Valley; Robert Adams, 40, of Yucaipa; Nicholas Thalasinos, 52, of Colton; Tin Nguyen, 31, of Santa Ana; Juan Espinoza, 50, of Highland; Damian Meins, 58, of Riverside; and Michael Wetzel, 37, of Lake Arrowhead.

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