Woman who fled Islamic extremism among mass shooting victims

Thousands gathered in San Bernardino Thursday night at a candlelight and prayer vigil to honor the victims.

Family and friends of the 14 men and women killed in Wednesday's shooting are honoring their loved ones by offering a glimpse into who they were and how they lived their lives.

Thirty-seven-year-old Michael Wetzel was a father of six.

In a statement posted to a fundraising website, his wife Renee said, "I didn't know a better person... Without him, this family will never be the same."

Jennifer Thalasinos says her husband Nicholas was deeply devoted to his Messianic Jewish faith. The 52-year-old worked for the health department in San Bernardino County.

Officials name San Bernardino shooting victims

"He was so kind to everybody, he was very chivalrous," Thalasinos said. "They're a very tight knit group that worked together and some of them that passed away were very good friends."

According to Iranian born Benetta Bet-Badals's family, the mother of three "fled to America at the age of 18 to escape Islamic extremism."

"She came in to have a better life, a better education and everything else, and unfortunately it was taken away from her at an early age," said her husband, Arlen Bet-Badal.

On Facebook, one of Sierra Clayborn's photos is covered in blue, white and red - a tribute to the victims of last month's Paris Massacre. A message beneath the photo reads, "Even as you go, your picture is out of love of victims elsewhere."

The Los Angeles Times reports Daniel Kaufman worked at a coffee shop at the Inland Regional Center.

"He had this grin that made it look like he was up to something," said his friend, Stachia Chadwick.

"When things were starting to get to you, Daniel would show up," said another friend, Jack Prewett.

"He'd pull some stunt and make you laugh," Chadwick added.

In addition to the 14 people who died, nearly two dozen more were injured.

One of the survivors - 22-year-old Jennifer Stevens - was shot in the side.

"She kept calling me. I said there's something wrong, I've got to take this call. And she said, 'Mommy I've been shot,'" said her mother, Lisa. "You could hear responders in the background and they took the phone from her and that was all I knew. About four hours later she texted me, 'I'm okay.' It was terrible."

Other relatives of the injured say they're lucky.

"Unfortunately the other fourteen families don't have the story to share," said Rosa Ortiz, a victim's aunt. "It really breaks our heart that this is happening to all of us."