Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Breaking News

One of San Bernardino Shooting Victims Was Messianic Jew

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.”

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.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.