The memorial service for 42-year-old Daniel Kaufman took place this Saturday, honoring the gay man who was murdered while working at a coffee cart inside the Inland Regional Center for people with disabilities in San Bernadino.
He was shot to death when Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik attacked the facility, ultimately murdering 14 people and wounding dozens more.
Right now, the massacre is being investigated as an act of terrorism. Groups associated with Daesh have claimed credit for the murders.
As more details of the horrible day have emerged, Daniel Kaufman has been revealed to be a hero.
When the shootings began, Daniel was in the hallway of the facility.
Always concerned more about the safety of others than himself, he began shouting “Get out! Go! Get out now! Hurry!”
As shots rang out, Kaufman began pushing people out of harm’s way, rushing them to the safety of the door before he was himself shot and killed.
A source close to Ryan Reyes, Kaufman’s surviving partner, says he’s credited with saving 4 people’s lives.
Reyes will be telling his story this week on the Dr. Phil show.
Daniel was known as the one person in his wide circle of friends as the guy to turn you when in need of an uplifting conversation or were in need of a laugh.
On Saturday, many of those people congregated at Irwindale, California‘s Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area to remember Daniel.
Friends shared stories of Daniel, alternately laughing and crying as they retold intimate exchanges, recalled their final memories of him and their favorite things about him.
Reyes, his partner of three years, retold some of Daniel’s favorite stories. He said Kaufman lived to make people laugh.
A practicing Wiccan, Daniel regularly participated at Renaissance Fairs. He loved scary moves and comic books.
A ravenous Star Wars fan, he was looking forward to the upcoming The Force Awakens and had recently met Carrie Fisher, who played Princess Leia in the original films and will soon be reprising her role.
Many people at the memorial simply knew Daniel as the guy who was always smiling. Only when his image was broadcast did many of his co-workers and peers learn his name.
“It didn’t matter what type of mood he was in,” Reyes said. “If you were hurting, it was that bright cheery, ‘are you ok? I’m going to make you laugh. I’m going to make you feel good again.’ That was Daniel. God, I miss him.”
Ryan Reyes had a special message to send:
“I speak for both Daniel and myself when I say that this attack should NOT encourage people to treat Muslims any differently than they would anyone else. This tragedy was committed by a radical group. We do not hold all Christians accountable for the actions of the Westboro Baptist Church, so why do we blame all Muslims for the actions of THEIR version of Westboro? It makes no sense. The twisted actions and beliefs of a few should not be used to view the majority. Muslims are just as loving and caring as anyone else. It made Daniel sick and continues to make me sick, that Americans refuse to drop this way of thinking.
Muslim people are just as desperate to capture the radical groups as anyone else. By joining forces and working together through love and understanding, we can defeat those that perpetrate these acts. My heart and sympathy goes out to all Muslims that are not members of these radical groups. I am sorry that, for whatever reason, people cannot seem to understand that the radical groups and terrorists do NOT speak for all Muslims. Just know that I do not blame you for this and I love you as my brothers and sisters in humanity, just as Daniel would.”
H/t: LGBTQ Nation