Last week, New York Giants safety Nat Berhe tweeted that his cousin, Isaac Amanios, was one of the 14 people killed by Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik last Wendesday in the San Bernardino shooting. On Thursday, Berhe wrote a gripping essay posted on the Players' Tribune about the process of finding out he lost a loved one, and how the news has affected him since.
Berhe was on high alert when he got wind that something major was going down in San Bernardino, his hometown, and where his family still resides. On his first correspondence with his brother Tam at 3:05 p.m. on Dec. 2, everything seemed fine. Tam's message read: "Active shooters down the street from the office, we're all good but I'll call you in a bit, going to get mom and dad out of the office."
Berhe's parents work roughly one mile from the Inland Regional Center, so his next step was to text his mother and warn her to leave for safety. That's when Nat got his second text message from Tam at 3:37 p.m.
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"Bro, this is really crazy apparently they shot up the DMV building on Waterman," Tam wrote in his text message. "I'm hooking up the TV in Dad's office so I can get the news, listening to NPR now. Call you when I get in my car."
The location that Tam alerted Nat to was incorrect, but Nat found out around 4 p.m that his brother and parents made it home safe.
It wasn't until the next day that Nat received text message from Tam that broke the tragic news.
"You at home? Need to talk man. Judy just called me," Tam wrote to Nat the next day. When Nat picked up the phone call from Tam, he could immediately tell that something was wrong.
"They killed Isaac yesterday," Tam told Nat over the phone. "He was at the IRC building for a holiday party. I can't believe it."
Nat described his immediate reaction after Tam broke the news that their cousin Isaac was one of the 14 victims.
"I was in complete shock," Berhe wrote in the essay. "I was sick. I didn't leave my apartment that day or much of the next. I felt paralyzed with grief."
Nat continued in detail about the entire process with background and context about his family and Isaac Amanios. You can find Nat's essay in its entirety here.
(h/t The Players' Tribune)