In the aftermath of six orchestrated terrorist attacks that rocked Paris, France, on the evening of Friday, November 13, it’s reported that Americans were among those wounded and killed in the attacks.
The terrorist attacks in Paris were purportedly carried out by ISIS and were the deadliest attacks in France since World War II. The death toll continues to rise and the number of people wounded is even higher.
According to Fox News, at least one American was killed in the Paris attacks, with many more wounded or yet to be identified. The first American killed to be identified is 23-year-old Long Beach State student, Nohemi Gonzalez. She was a junior at the school and was spending a semester in Paris studying abroad. It’s currently unclear how or where she was killed.
Jane Close Conoley, the president of the university, expressed her condolences by saying, “I’m deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Long Beach State University student Nohemi Gonzalez. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends during this sad time. Our university stands with our nearly eighty foreign exchange students from France as they struggle with this tragedy. We will extend all support necessary to comfort them. We will also extend support to all students, faculty and staff who are in need.”
A spokesman for the State Department said the United States embassy is working around the clock to ensure Americans in Paris are safe and accounted for.
“The U.S. Embassy in Paris is working around the clock to assist American citizens affected by this tragedy,” said Mark Toner, a spokesman.
Helen Jane Wilson, another American who was wounded in the attacks, is currently being treated and undergoing surgery at a Paris hospital. She is originally from New Orleans.
The total number of people wounded in the attacks is currently estimated at over 300 with over 120 people dead. The deadliest attack took place at the Bataclan concert hall, where an American band, Eagles of Death Metal, were performing.
Although the band members were all safe following the attacks, L.A. Weekly reported that the band’s merchandise manager, Nick Alexander, was among those killed in the attacks. Nick Alexander was from Britain and was well known in his profession, having worked with other bands such as Sum 41 and Panic! at the Disco.
His family released a statement following the news that he was killed in the attacks.
“It is with huge sorrow that we can confirm that our beloved Nick lost his life at the Bataclan last night. Nick was not just our brother, son and uncle, he was everyone’s best friend — generous, funny and fiercely loyal. Nick died doing the job he loved and we take great comfort in knowing how much he was cherished by his friends around the world. Thank you for your thoughts and respect for our family at this difficult time. Peace and light.”
A radio presenter in Paris, Pierre Janaszak, was at the concert hall when the attacks were carried out. He said, “At first we thought it was part of the show but we quickly understood.”
French officials believe the terrorist attacks were coordinated by three terrorist teams. The ongoing investigation has thus far yielded one French radical who was among the killers, one person with a Syrian passport, and several raids in Belgium. All seven terrorists involved in the attack were reported to have been killed; either by themselves via suicide bombs or by French police.
French President Francoise Hollande said, “We will work alongside our allies to fight this terrorist menace. France is strong and even if she is wounded she will get up always and nothing will hold her down, even if we are feeling the grief now… We will defend ourselves.”
Thoughts and well wishes go out to those impacted by this terrible tragedy.
[Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images]