One of the victims of Wednesday’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, California has been identified as a Messianic Jew.
Nicholas Thalasinos, 52, was a health department worker and colleague of the suspected shooter. Thalasinos was gunned down along with 13 others during a work holiday party.
In a phone interview with The New York Times, Jennifer Thalasinos, the victim’s wife, told the paper that he was among the same “little group” of employees as Syed Farook, the suspected shooter.
“He had worked with [Farook],” Jennifer Thalasinos said. “He had talked about him. Nothing negative.”
Photo of Nicholas Thalasinos with wife Jennifer who says her health inspector husband was one of the SB fatalities. pic.twitter.com/DiY6Ku6gTh— Jeff Nguyen (@jeffnguyen) December 3, 2015
Thalasinos said that she and her husband were Messianic Jews, or members of the so-called Jews for Jesus group.
Thalasinos often wore traditional Jewish tassels, called tzitzit. Thalasinos said her husband was politically conservative and often posted about Israel and politics on his social media.
“My husband was very outspoken about ISIS and all of these radicalized Muslims,” she said to the Times. “If he would’ve thought that somebody in his office was like that, he would’ve said something.”
According to philly.com, the day before the shootings, Thalasinos had posted a threat he had received on social media. It included the words “you will die and never see Israel.”
Authorities have not yet released a motive for the shooting and there is no evidence that Thalasinos was a specific target.