Isaac Amanios, cousin of New York Giants player, among San Bernardino mass shooting victims
Isaac Amanios, cousin of New York Giants player, among San Bernardino mass shooting victim By Larry Altman, Daily Breeze FONTANA >> Isaac Amanios, 60, fled his war-torn country 15 years ago in search of the American dream,
FONTANA >> Isaac Amanios, 60, fled his war-torn country 15 years ago in search of the American dream, his brother said.
Abraham Amanios said his younger brother immigrated to California in January 2000 from Eritrea. On Wednesday, the 60-year-old environmental health inspector was among 14 people killed and 21 wounded when two assailants entered the Inland Regional Center and fired at a gathering with San Bernardino County Department of Health employees.
On Friday, the FBI announced it was investigating the mass shooting as an act of terrorism.
“There is no explanation,” speaking by phone from Isaac’s home in Fontana; 73-year-old Abraham Amanios said family from throughout California and as far away as Houston were at the house to support the family. “He was looking for a better life.”
Isaac Amanios is survived by his wife Hiwet and three children ranging in ages from 19 to 22.
His wife was already in the U.S., studying nursing when Isaac Amanios relocated with daughter Milak. He later brought his sons Bruk and Joseph.
Abraham said his brother had been working for the County for about 12 years and about five years ago received his citizenship.
“Of course he came here to help provide a better education for his kids,” he said. “He was looking for the American dream.”
When news of the shooting was unfolding, the Amanios family didn’t realize he was at the center. The family tried searching for him at areas hospitals when their worst fears were confirmed Thursday morning.
“His wife tried calling him after 5 p.m. and wasn’t answering his phone,” Abraham Amanios said. “We never thought he would be involved because he works for the Department of Health.”
Abraham Amanios said his brother was an avid reader who also enjoyed playing tennis at least twice a week – Wednesdays and Fridays.
The last time Abraham Amanios saw his brother was for Thanksgiving. About 40 members of the family gathered Abraham Amanios’ home in Bloomington.
“We just socialized and talked about elections; everyday events,” he recounted. “He loved following American politics, and he called Obama ‘my brother.’”
He said he brother was very intelligent who wasn’t shy to express his views but always respected the point of view of others.
“He believed in respecting other people’s opinion and tolerance,” Abraham said.
He was also very caring, adding that he often supported fellow Eritreans in San Bernardino County who were impacted by the war in their native country.
Isaac Amanios, who also used the name Isaac Gebreslassie, was a cousin of New York Giants safety Nat Berhe.
“He was a great human being. Thoughts and prayers are with my family back in CA,” he tweeted.
Berhe, a San Bernardino native, played at Colton High School before going on to play at San Diego State.
“The true terror is that this keeps happening. I still can’t believe it. Take a moment to think of the families hurting right now,” Berhe tweeted on Thursday morning.