L.A. Area College Student Killed in Paris Attacks

L.A. Area College Student Killed in Paris Attacks
Nohemi Gonzalez/Facebook

UPDATE at 6:25 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015: A congresswoman and California's attorney general express condolences. L.A.'s mayor says LAX will be lit up to honor the victims of the Paris attacks. See the details below.

A 23-year-old Cal State Long Beach student was among the dead in Paris' tragic terrorist attacks last night, school officials said today.

Nohemi Gonzalez was a junior studying design, according to the university. She was from El Monte.

"She was in Paris attending Strate College of Design during a semester abroad program," Cal State Long Beach's Shayne Schroeder said.

"I’m deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Long Beach State University student Nohemi Gonzalez," said Cal State Long Beach president Jane Close Conoley. "Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends during this sad time. Our university stands with our nearly 80 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."

University officials said "specific details" about how and where Gonzalez died were not available.

Gonzalez's last post on her Facebook page indicated that she found learning in French to be a challenge. "Learning a 3-D modeling computer program in a language I don't know is up there In the top 3 hardest things I've ever had to do," she wrote.

A vigil to memorialize her was scheduled for 4 p.m. tomorrow on campus.

The attacks killed 129, most at a concert hall, Bataclan, where Southern California band Eagles of Death Metal were halfway through a set when three or more gunmen opened fire, shooting into the audience as band members escaped backstage.

Three teams of attackers carried out the terror at six locations in Paris Friday night, using assault rifles, grenades and, in final acts of defiance, suicide bombs, according to reports. As many as eight suspected terrorists were found dead following the violence.

Eagles of Death Metal, whose leader Jesse Hughes lives in Los Angeles, escaped the violence, but merchandise manager Nick Alexander, 36, was among those killed.

French President François Hollande last night blamed the Islamic State (ISIS) for the violence.

UPDATE at 6:25 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015: U.S. Rep. Linda Sanchez, a Democrat from Whittier, issued this statement tonight:

I am deeply saddened to hear that Nohemi Gonzalez was a victim in last evening’s terrorist attacks in Paris. From the bottom of my heart: I extend my condolences to her family and friends. May the outpouring of love from our community help strengthen and comfort the Gonzalez family during this heartbreaking time.

Like so many others, I am horrified, confused and angered by these barbaric actions. This was not just an attack against France — it was an attack against the freedoms and universal values we hold dearly. We will always stand shoulder to shoulder with the French people against the forces of evil and hate.

Earlier in the day, California Attorney General Kamala Harris had this to say about Gonzalez's death:

On behalf of the California Department of Justice, I extend my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Nohemi Gonzales, whose young life was among those so tragically cut short by reprehensible acts of terrorism in Paris yesterday. We stand with Nohemi’s loved ones and the entire California State University, Long Beach family, as they grieve this loss and seek solace in this tragic hour. We are all Parisians today.

Tonight Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said LAX's iconic pylons would be lit in blue, white and red to express "solidarity with Paris and the victims of yesterday's tragic attacks."

"Los Angeles stands united with those around the world against these terrorist activities," the mayor said.


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