EAST RUTHERFORD - The New York Giants are rallying around safety Nat Berhe, after he lost his 60-year-old cousin, Isaac Amanios, in Wednesday's mass shooting.
“Everyone’s tried to express themselves to Nat about how sorry we feel about that circumstance,” said Giants’ Coach Tom Coughlin.
Berhe won’t play in this Sunday’s game because of an injury. He tweeted yesterday: “Thank you all for your kind words and well wishes, means a lot after something like this. Also thank those first responders, true heroes.”
The widow of a former New Jersey man killed said he probably acted as a hero and tried to save others around him. 52-year-old Nicholas Thalasinos used to live in Ocean and Burlington Counties before moving to California in 2002.
Jennifer Thalasinos said her late husband was openly critical of the Muslim faith. She had no direct evidence of a confrontation between her husband and the shooter but said today: “I know that supposedly there was an argument and very easily could have been an argument with my husband. I wouldn't be surprised."
Nicholas Thalasinos and one of the shooters, Syed Farook, were both health inspectors for San Bernardino. Kuuleme Stephens, a friend who called Thalasinos at work two weeks ago said she overheard the two debating religion through the phone. Stephens said she heard the would-be shooter say: “Israel was not apart of the Middle East, and he was talking about how they didn’t belong there.”
Stephens said she didn’t fear for Thalasinos safety after overhearing the conversation.
"They were both calm and collected,” she said, "they weren’t yelling at each other, like fighting or anything. They were just debating.”
Thalisinos often shared pro-Israel and anti-Islam views on Facebook.
"He was very upset about what ISIS has been doing and the radicalized Muslims, al Qaeda, the whole situation,” said his wife.
The day before the shooting he posted a threat he received. It read in part: “...you will die and never see israel as a country…”
"He was a good person,” said Thalasinos’ son, Jacob, "I loved my father. I always will.”