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Gay Man Killed in San Bernardino Mass Shooting Credited With Saving Four


Daniel Kaufman's friends are hailing him as a hero when the shooting began.

Daniel Kaufman, the gay man killed in last Wednesday's mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., is being credited with saving four people's lives, reports The Pride L.A., an LGBT publication in Southern California.

Kaufman, who ran the coffee shop at the Inland Regional Center, a facility providing services to people with disabilities, was in the hallway with a coffee cart when the shooting began, The Pride reports. He "began screaming 'Get out! Go! Get out now! Hurry!'" and pushed people out of harm's way, according to the publication.

Sources close to Kaufman's surviving partner, Ryan Reyes, told The Pride that Kaufman's actions saved four people. Reyes will tell his story on an episode of Dr. Phil this week, they said. Reyes's appearance is not listed on the show's website, but the site promises more information to come on a new episode Wednesday dealing with mass killings, so that could be the episode featuring Reyes. Reyes has also been interviewed by Don Lemon and Thomas Roberts.

Kaufman, 42, was one of 14 people killed when husband and wife Syed Farook and Tafsheen Malik opened fire at the Inland Regional Center. That day, in addition to its normal operations, the center was hosting the San Bernardino County Health Department's holiday luncheon, and the luncheon was the focal point of the pair's attack. Farook was an inspector for the health department.

The couple, who were killed by police later the same day, are believed to have been sympathetic to the terrorist group ISIS. Although that organization claims Muslim beliefs, Reyes emphasized that no one should blame all Muslims for the attack, The Pride reports.

"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," he said. "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."

Kaufman's friends and family gathered at a memorial service Saturday at the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area in Irwindale, Calif. They remembered him as a gregarious man who loved Renaissance fairs, scary movies, and comic books, and was always ready to make people laugh.

"It didn't matter what type of mood he was in, 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," Reyes said, according to The Pride. "God, I miss him."

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