- The Washington Times - Friday, December 4, 2015

Bennetta Betbadal, one of the 14 people killed in Wednesday’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, had fled from Iran to the U.S. to escape Islamic extremism, her family says.

Born in Iran in 1969, Betbadal moved to the U.S. when she was 18 to flee the “persecution of Christians that followed the Iranian Revolution,” her family said in a statement, The San Bernardino Sun reported.

She was shot to death Wednesday at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino by a Muslim couple with possible ties to the Islamic State terrorist group.

“It is the ultimate irony that her life would be stolen from her that day by what appears to be the same type of extremism that she fled so many years ago,” the family’s statement said.

Betbadal and her husband, a police officer at Riverside Community College, have three children, two boys and a girl ages 10, 12, and 15, the Sun reported. The couple, religious Roman Catholics, were married in March 1997.

“There is no reason for evilness,” her husband, Arlen Verdehyou, told the paper. “You just have to be strong for each other.”

Betbadal took a job as an inspector with the San Bernardino County Health Department in 2006.

Bennetta was proud to work for the people of San Bernardino County,” the statement said. “She loved her job, her community, and her country.”

The statement said Betbadal left the house excited Wednesday morning about a presentation she planned to give to her supervisors and coworkers at their annual meeting at the Inland Regional Center.

“She decorated a beautiful Christmas tree,” her husband told the Sun.

A Gofundme account created Wednesday to help the family has already surpassed $45,000.

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