An American father and his 11-year-old son were killed when a truck plowed through pedestrians who had gathered to watch fireworks marking the end of Bastille Day in the center of Nice late Thursday night.
Sean Copeland and his son Brodie were on vacation in the southern French city from Texas when they were killed, along with 82 others. Their deaths were confirmed on Friday morning by a family representative and the US State Department.
“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 family said in a statement distributed by friend Jess Davis. “They are so loved.”
#BREAKING: Family, friends confirm
father, son from Austin area killed in#Nice terror attack.
— AlwaysActions (@AlwaysActions) July 15, 2016
Brodie, who played baseball for his local Hill Country Baseball league, was mourned in a tribute posted on the league’s Facebook page.
“Nobody deserves this type of fate, especially not such a wonderful family,” the tribute said.
Spectators had gathered to watch fireworks on the Promenade des Anglais seaside walk in the center of Nice late Thursday night when the truck plowed into the crowd. The suspect continued driving for more than a mile, the ranking politician of Alpes-Maritime Department told reporters on Thursday.
At least 84 people, including at least 10 children, are now confirmed dead. At least 18 people are still in extremely serious condition and 54 children have been admitted to the children’s hospital Lenval since Thursday night, according to French newspaper Nice-Matin.
The driver, identified as 31-year-old Franco-Tunisian Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel,
opened fire on the crowd with a 7.65 calibre pistol before accelerating and ramming the explosives-loaded truck into nearby pedestrians, officials said.
Bouhlel was known to police for non-terrorism related infractions and was not under police surveillance. A search was held this morning at his home in Nice.
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