Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the two gunmen slain after the massacre at the regional center in San Bernardino on Wednesday, was a food inspector with that county's health department. So was Santa Ana's Tin Nguyen, one of the 14 defenseless innocents murdered by Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik on Wednesday.
Nguyen, 31, was born in Vietnam. She attended Adams Elementary, Carr and McFadden Intermediates and Valley High School, from where she graduated in 2002, according to the Santa Ana Unified School District.
Her death has left her family crushed. From Newsday:
On a sidewalk several blocks from the shooting scene, Van Nguyen sat on the pavement late Thursday morning, sobbing, as loved ones formed a wall around her.
The loud sobs of family members could also be heard coming from a grief counseling center that was set up in Highland yesterday. Their grief is understandable; Tin Nguyen had her whole life in front of her.
In a brief interview with Newsday, before the family was ushered away, [Phu Nguyen] said his niece was “getting ready to get married” next year.
“She was excited about trying on her wedding dress,” Phu Nguyen said.
Tin Nguyen dropped by the holiday gathering at San Bernardino's Inland Regional Center, her cousin Calvin Nguyen told USA Today.
Neither Calvin nor the rest of Nguyen's cousins were concerned by 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, when the relatives were texting each other about the family's Christmas season plans.
It was around 11 p.m. when Calvin's family heard news that Nguyen, 31, was in the same facility they had seen on the news.
“Her mom tried to call, and all people tried to call, but no answer,” Calvin said.
By midnight they still hadn't received word from Nguyen, of Santa Ana in Orange County, but had reached a tragic conclusion.
“We said, if she survived, she would have called us back,” Calvin said Thursday.
The 10 or so family members emerged from the grief counseling center locked in one another's arms.
“She was very intelligent, a good girl, takes care of Mom and family,” Calvin said of Tin.
“We very sad that we lose her,” he said. “Pray for us.”
OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.