Less than 24 hours after a truck sped down more than a mile of a beachside promenade in Nice, France, claiming the lives of at least 84 people and wounding many others, details are beginning to surface about the victims of the attack.
People from more than a half-dozen different countries lost their lives, including a father and son from the U.S. Sean Copeland, 51, and his 11-year-old son, Brodie, were killed in the attack, according to a family spokesperson.
“We are heartbroken and in shock over the loss of Brodie Copeland, an amazing son and brother who lit up our lives, and Sean Copeland, a wonderful husband and father,” the statement reads. “They are so loved.”
In an interview with NPR, Bill Bishop, a family friend whose son played on a baseball team with Brodie, called the Copelands the kind of family that did everything together — and especially athletics. In their community of Lakeway, just outside Austin, Texas, Bishop says they would spend hours on the baseball diamond.
“They were on a three-week European vacation,” Bishop says. “Sean and his oldest son, Austin, had run with the bulls, and they’d just been touring Europe. I think they had a week left, they were just on a great family vacation.”
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to support the Copeland family, created by Hill Country Baseball Club coach Jonathan Paiz, according to a spokesman for the crowdfunding site. “Brodie has been playing baseball at Hill Country since Fall of 2014,” the campaign page reads. “He made an impact on all of the coaches at HC.”
Sean and Brodie Copeland were not the only Americans caught in the attack. Three University of Calfornia, Berkeley, students were also injured in the attack, according to a statement from the university. Berkeley student Nicolas Leslie, who is 20 years old, remains unaccounted for. All of the students were attending a 15-day program called Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Europe.
Meanwhile, many families continue to search for their loved ones. Some are posting photos of their missing relatives on the Facebook page SOS Nice.
Victims already confirmed killed in the attack were from many nations, according to multiple reports — including Morocco, Armenia, Ukraine, Switzerland and Germany.
The Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said an Armenia citizen was killed, Public Radio of Armenia reported. It did not provide further details.
We know that a large number of the victims are from France, though French authorities have not yet issued a list of the deceased.
Robert Marchand, 60, is among the dead, according to his local newspaper Le Journal de Saone-et-Loire. He worked for a local company and was the head of an athletic club in the area. Marcigny’s mayor, Louis Poncet, confirmed the news to the Journal and said that Marchand “was a man who was very devoted, passionate, who had advanced the athletic club to the highest level.” He was married and had a daughter, the Journal reported.
One of the first victims to be killed in the attack, according to the newspaper L’Express, was Fatima Charrihi, a resident in the city. Her nationality is not immediately clear. The Muslim mother of seven “was an extraordinary mother,” her son Hamza told L’Express. “She wore the veil, she practiced an Islam of the middle ground. A true Islam. Not that of the terrorists.”
She had been with her nieces and nephews at the time of the attack, according to her son.
At least three Germans are among the victims, authorities from Berlin told The Associated Press. Reinhard Naumann, the mayor of Berlin’s Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf district, told the wire service that “two students and a teacher from a high school in the city” were killed, without identifying them.
The Consulate of Morocco in Marseille told HuffPost Maghreb that at least two Moroccan citizens, a woman and a child, were killed in the attack.
Student Viktoria Savchenko had been in Nice on a break from her studies Moscow’s Academy of Finance, which confirmed her death in a tweet Friday.
The Moscow Times reports Savchenko was in the city with a friend, fellow student Polina Serebryannikova, who managed to escape with her life — and some injuries. Serebryannikova, who was beside Savchenko at the time of her friend’s death, according to The Telegraph, is now hospitalized.
“My friend and I were walking on the promenade. We saw this truck moving in a strange trajectory,” Serebryannikova says, in The Telegraph report. “My friend was hit and died.”
Switzerland’s foreign ministry said that a Swiss woman and a child were killed in the attack, without identifying them, according to The Associated Press.
However, Al-Jazeera reports that the Swiss woman has been identified as customs agent Linda Casanova-Siccardi, 54, by the mayor of the town of Agno. She had been visiting the city with her husband, a French national, according to the publication. Casanova-Siccardi “is described in a trade union newsletter as one of the country’s first female customs officials,” according to the AP.
The Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that three of its citizens were killed in the attack. They include a woman named Alfa bint al-Soueyeh Khalfalla, who was born in 1985 and had a 4-year-old son named Kamal.
Victim Mohammed bin Abdel Qader al-Toukabri, who was born in 1958, hailed from Tunisia’s Beja Governorate and worked as a mechanic in Nice, the ministry said. Bilal al-Labaoui, who was born in 1987, was from Tunisia’s Kasserine Governorate.
In a tweet, Ukrainian Minister for Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin confirmed that one Ukrainian national had been killed in the attack, while another was injured. They have not yet provided any further details.
This post will be updated with further information about the victims as we learn more.
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