A Joyful life, a hero’s death

Cara Schulz —  December 8, 2015 — 8 Comments

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif — On Dec 2, Jack Prewett, Co-First Officer of Covenant of the Goddess, was at his job for the county of San Bernardino not far from the Inland Regional Center (IRC) complex. Around 11 am, two persons reportedly entered an IRC conference room and opened fire, killing 14 and wounding 12.

Jack’s wife, Stachia Ravensdottir, heard about the shooting on the news and tried to call him.  Jack immediately answered the phone. And, like hundreds of others who work at the IRC complex or at nearby government offices, he was able to tell his wife that he was fine. But, as they both were to find out later, one of their close friends wasn’t so lucky.

In an email interview, Jack told The Wild Hunt that had first heard about the shooting on the radio while sitting in his car eating lunch. He then saw a mass exodus of people leaving his building and security guards stopping guests from entering. He was able to go inside and was in lock down for two hours. After finally returning home and fielding calls from anxious friends and relatives, Jack decided to post on Facebook that he was OK.

It was at this point when he that noticed that Daniel Kaufman, a close-friend, fellow Wiccan and Renaissance Faire participant, was still missing.


The next bit of news that Jack received was that Daniel had been shot, but was expected to recover. However, by 1 am the next morning, Daniel’s friends and loved ones were informed that he actually may have been one of the 14 killed. Official confirmation came at 1 pm Dec 3. Larry Daniel E. Kaufman, age 42, was dead.

However, a few days later, Daniel’s friends and family would learn that he had died a hero.

[Photo Credit: E. Towne]

Larry Daniel E. Kaufman (1973 2015)  [Photo Credit: E. Towne]

Daniel has been described as a a very joyful person who was full of life and who loved making others laugh.

He was raised by his aunt and uncle in Rialto, California and graduated from Eisenhower High School. Jack and his wife Stachia first met Daniel 15 years ago through Southern California’s Renaissance Pleasure Faire. Daniel was a Master in the Guild of St. Cuthbert, to which Jack also belonged, and was their Banner Captain. His sense of humor came through when he founded the Peasant Militia, who were armed with spoons and carrots, and pledged to right the wrongs of the world.

Stachia described Daniel as “One of those people who exuded energy and happiness. You felt better by his mere presence; his smile and hugs were pure magick.” And, Jack remembered Daniel as, “One of those rare individuals that when your spirit was low, a hug from him was like a double shot of espresso.  He was life itself and we’ll both miss him.” Prewett was interviewed by USAToday shortly after learning the news:

On Dec 2, Daniel was working as a barista and trainer for the disabled at Coffee N More located in the IRC. He had worked there for about 5 years.

As reported by The Pride LA, “[Daniel] was in the hallway of the facility as the shooting began. Daniel, always more concerned about everyone around him than himself, began screaming “Get out! Go!  Get out now! Hurry!” He began pushing people out of harm’s way, urging them to the safety of the door before he was shot and killed.” He is credited with saving 4 people’s lives. Ryan Reyes, Daniel’s surviving partner, discovered Daniel’s heroic act through a message on Facebook and, then, posted the following:


Reyes was unavailable to talk to The Wild Hunt this week. But he will be detailing more of what he heard of Daniel’s heroic actions on the Dr. Phil show Wednesday, Dec. 9

Stachia said that the San Bernardino community is still shocked and numb, but united. She said, “We’re still trying to process everything. Jack received an email of support from a member of the Sandy Hook community saying, ‘When we are scarred by the same vicious claw, we recognize the pain in others.’  I wish we weren’t members of that brotherhood!”

A memorial vigial was held for Daniel on Dec. 5.  The local newspaper was there to record the ceremony.  People lit candles, shared stories and sang in the background. What is remembered, lives.


From vigil for Daniel Kaufman [Courtesy J. Prewett]

Cara Schulz

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Cara Schulz is a journalist and author living in Minnesota with her husband and cat. She has previously written for PAGAN+politics, PNC-Minnesota, and Patheos. Her work has appeared in several books by Bibliotheca Alexandrina and she's the author of Martinis & Marshmallows: A Field Guide to Luxury Tent Camping and (Almost) Foolproof Mead Making. She loves red wine, camping, and has no tattoos.
  • Trapper

    The ancient Egyptians believed that to speak the name of the dead was to make them live forever. May his name be long spoken.

  • ChristopherBlackwell

    Heroes have this strange aspect about caring more about others than themselves. This often costs them, but they seem to consider it worth the cost.

  • KhalilaRedBird

    May the Heroes and Ancestors welcome him Home and may his memory be for a blessing. What is remembered, lives.

  • The best heros are the ones who don’t know they are heroes before they are needed and still choose standing between harm and another.

    He chose honorably. May the gods and ancestors recognize him.

  • Hecate_Demetersdatter

    May the Goddess Guard Him. May He Find His Way to the Summerlands. May His Friends and Family Know Peace.

  • mysticserpent007

    I am extremely sorry, so sad, and so tired of these shootings. May the Gods and Spirits honor him and send him to a joyful, peaceful place, as I’m sure they will.

  • Jack Prewett

    Thank you for remembering my friend.

  • Anna H.

    Blessed Be, good sir. Thank you for making this planet a more vibrant and pleasant place to live, and for saving lives. May your time with the Goddess and the Old Ones bring rest and healing.