Member-supported news for Southern California
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Support for KPCC comes from:

San Bernardino shooting update: Friend of victim says heated exchange on Islam took place before rampage

A friend of a man who was killed during Wednesday's attack said she witnessed a fight between him and one of the attackers over religion.

Kuuleme Stephens told the Associated Press she overheard Farook and coworker Nicholas Thalasinos arguing over Islam when she called two weeks before the attack. 

Thalasinos' wife Jennifer Thalasinos told KPCC her husband was outspoken about radical Islam. She said her husband "did have a lot of anti-Muslim sentiment."

"But again, he did get along with the person who caused all of this. He had friends who were Muslim," she said. "He was very outspoken about how he felt. ... He was anti-Muslim in the whole scheme of things just because everything has been so out of control with ISIS and Al-Qaeda and their anti-Semitic sentiment and with my husband being a Messianic Jew, that was a big issue with him."

The Associated Press reports: 

AP cautioned that it's not yet clear if the argument had anything to do with the attack, but at a press conference Thursday, San Bernardino Police Chief Burguan reported at least one witness said Farook had left the holiday gathering upset after some kind of dispute. Investigators have also been clear that they have found no motive yet for the attack. 

A Facebook page that Jennifer Thalasinos confirmed belonged to her husband featured several images related to Messianic Judaism and at least one that appeared to be critical of Muslims. 

That image shows a picture of what appears to be someone falling out of the World Trade Center during 9/11, superimposed with the following words "On behalf of this guy, his co-workers, the fire fighters on scene, the passengers on the planes, their families & the majority of Americans on the street, You can stick your Million Muslim March up your [a**es]."

Facebook post

You can read more about Thalasinos and the other victims here.