Early Thursday morning, the bodies of some San Bernardino shooting victims remained on the floor of the Inland Regional Center’s southernmost building, where they were killed during a holiday party the day before.
"We did not get to the portion where we were dealing with the victims and the bodies and trying to make the positive identification through fingerprints until the middle of the night,” San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan told reporters at a press conference Thursday morning.
Burguan explained that once officers on the scene confirmed that those remaining in the building had lost their lives, they had to deal with the fire sprinklers that were flooding the room and then locate explosive devices the suspected shooters had left behind, before finally tending to the victims.
“We’ve been working throughout the night on that,” he said.
Burguan said the police department’s plan was to slowly release the names of all 14 people killed in the mass shooting throughout the day. The coroner's office released a full list Thursday evening.
The 14 victims are" Shannon Johnson, 45, Benneta Bet-Badal, 46, Aurora Godoy, 26, Isaac Amanios, 60, Larry Kaufman, 42, Harry Bowman, 46, Yvette Velasco, 27, Sierra Clayborn, 27, Robert Adams, 40, Nicholas Thalasinos, 52, Tin Nguyen, 31, Juan Espinoza, 50, Damian Meins, 58 and Michael Wetzel, 37.
Hours earlier, friends of at least one of the victims began flooding Facebook with expressions of sympathy, grief, and frustration.
Nicholas Thalasinos had reportedly been employed by the San Bernardino Department of Health for more than a decade, where he worked as an environmental health inspector along with Syed Farook, one of the suspected shooters.
Overnight, Thalasinos' wife, Jennifer, changed her Facebook profile picture to a photograph of herself and her husband at what appears to be some sort of celebration. Jennifer Thalasinos, who according to her profile is a second grade teacher at Colton Joint Unified School District in San Bernardino, did not respond to a request for comment from Yahoo News.
Based on the deluge of messages on his Facebook page, Thalasinos had a strong Internet presence and wide network of friends and supporters, many of whose posts included references to Thalasinos’ faith.
Kim Gray Asaro, of Conroe Texas, told Yahoo News that she didn’t know Thalasinos personally, just through Facebook.
“I know that he was a messianic Jew who would get in trouble for talking down Islam,” she said. “But he was also funny and sweet and just a great guy who gave his life for Christ.”
Several friends shared a screenshot of Thalasinos' last Facebook post, dated Dec. 1, 2015.
According to a memorial GoFundMe page created by friends of Thalasinos’, he and his wife “had a truly romantic, fairy tale love, having first met online via Beauty and the Beast fandom [the CBS TV show from the ’80s] and shared their love for science fiction and fantasy and had a very deep, spiritual relationship.
“They went through quite a lot in their 14 years together, loss, health issues, but always had each other to depend on,” the description on the GoFundMe page continues. “Jenn is going to be going through more than we'll ever be able to understand and we hope this will help ease her life just a little.”
Michael Raymond Wetzel has also been identified as one of the victims in Wednesday’s shooting. Wetzel was a father and stepfather of six and, according to a California state employee database, an environmental health specialist in San Bernardino County like Thalasinos and Farook.
A memorial crowdfunding page has also been set up for Wetzel’s wife, Renee Wetzel, at YouCaring.com.
“We are heartbroken for the Wetzel Family and determined to help our Mama Renee in anyway that we can,” reads a message on the page, created by Celia Behar, who runs a parenting blog called TheLilMamas.com. “Michael leaves behind 6 children and his family will need all the support we can give them.”
By Thursday afternoon the fund had raised $62,660.
Police are expected to release the names of all 14 people killed in the mass shooting by the end of the day. The San Bernardino County sheriff tweeted that a candlelight vigil will be held in honor of the victims Thursday evening at San Manuel Stadium, a minor league baseball field.