Obama meets with partner of gay San Bernardino shooting victim
President Barack Obama has privately met with a gay man who lost his partner during a mass shooting.
14 people were killed and 22 were seriously injured in the attack in San Bernardino, California, on December 2.
Following the incident, this week Obama privately met with the families of victims and number of survivors, during a visit to California.
The President met with Ryan Reyes – whose partner Daniel Kaufman was credited with helping save four lives before he was killed by the shooters.
Mr Kaufman ran the coffee cart at the Inland Regional Center – and trained the developmentally disabled clients who worked there.
Reyes told the LA Times that Obama consoled him over the loss and expressed grief over the shooting.
He explained: “He let everyone know the nation is mourning with us and they’re working so it won’t happen again.
“I could see that they were pained by what had happened.
“Even under the circumstances, I consider it an honour to have met the president.”
He told Obama that he wants to challenge the “anti-Muslim sentiment” that followed the shooting – with Obama adding that he wants people to “work together to eradicate the problems that cause tragedies like these.”
President Obama said afterwards: “Just had a chance to meet with the families of the majority of the victims of the San Bernardino tragedy.
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“It was so moving for Michelle and myself in part because it was so representative of the country. You had people from every background, every faith.
“Some described their loved ones who had come to this country as immigrants; others who had lived in the area all their lives — all of them extraordinarily proud of the work they were doing to keep people healthy and safe here in this community.
“Despite the pain and the heartache that they’re feeling, they could not have been more inspiring, and more proud of their loved ones, and more insistent that something good comes out of this tragedy.
“And many of them are already taking initiatives to reach out, to speak out on behalf of community and tolerance and treating people with respect.
“Many were interested in how we can prevent shootings like this from happening in the future.
“It was a reminder of what’s good in this country.”
Related topics: US