Paris attack: who are the victims?
The Telegraph speaks to Helen Wilson, ex-girlfriend of Nick Alexander, a Briton who died in the shootings. Meanwhile relatives made frantic efforts to find news of loved ones on Twitter using #rechercheParis
Desperate loved-ones hoping for news of the missing after the Paris attacks took their search to the world through social media.
A special stream of messages on Twitter, all grouped under the tag “#rechercheParis” – meaning “search Paris”, has taken the place of an official list of the missing.
In the hours after the attacks it swelled with names and pictures of brothers, sisters, girlfriends and boyfriends, not seen since heading off for a night out in Paris. Most are the faces of students and young professionals, from France and many countries across the world. The youngest listed was a girl of just 17.
In a few cases the messages are followed up with relieved updates or, for some, news that that they were injured but alive.
But for many there was no news at all.
Among the confirmed dead:
Nick Alexander, 36, of Colchester, England
The Foreign Office has confirmed that a British man was among those who died in the attack on the Bataclan venue.
Nick Alexander, 36, from London, was killed at the venue. He was shot in front of Helen Wilson, an American expat who herself was wounded in both legs.
In a statement his family said he was “everyone’s best friend” and died “doing the job he loved”.
“It is with huge sorrow that we can confirm that our beloved Nick lost his life at the Bataclan last night,” the statement said.
“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.”
Miss Wilson, speaking from her hospital bed, told The Telegraph how she had tried to keep him alive as they lay on the ground at the Bataclan concert hall.
She tried to give him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and held him in her arms as he struggled for his life.
Miss Wilson, 49, originally from New Orleans, also told how she witnessed the gunmen deliberately targeting concert-goers in wheelchairs. The gunmen hunted down disabled people who were sat in an area specially set aside for wheelchair users.
It was around 9.45 pm when the first shots were fired, competing for noise with the rock music being played by the Californian band, Eagles of Death Metal, at the Bataclan.
“We heard a couple of noises outside and people started running into the club. We didn’t know what was going on,” said Miss Wilson.
“Then maybe five, six guys came in with machine guns and shotguns and just started shooting people. It was mayhem.
“When anyone started running they would shoot them down. So we got down on the floor. I was afraid whenever I heard a step behind me… they machine-gunned everybody.
“Nick was in front of me when we were lying on the ground and somebody moved and they just turned round and started shooting us.
“His back was to me and I couldn’t see what happened and I tried to keep him talking and then I tried to give him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and they [the gunmen] were just sort of in the shadows and they would shoot if anyone said anything.
“Then he couldn’t breathe any more and I held him in my arms and told him I loved him. He was the love of my life.”
Miss Wilson was shot in both thighs and was taken to Saint-Antoine hospital in Paris, after being bandaged and receiving a blood transfusion.
Mr Alexander, 36, was a merchandiser working with the band.
Miss Wilson said: “Nick and I were together many years ago and it didn’t work out,” she said. “Once in a while we would bump into each other at very strange places and he phoned me the night before the incident and said he was in Paris and I went to see him and we spent a big part of the night talking about things that happened in the past and I was so happy to be seeing him and then this happened.”
She said when emergency workers finally helped her out of the building, she lost sight of him.
A woman who described herself as the girlfriend of Mr Alexander tweeted tributes on Saturday afternoon to “the love of my life:”
Among the first victims to be named publicly was Valentin Ribet, a French lawyer who graduated from the London School of Economics last year who had been working for the law firm Hogan Lovells, specialising in white collar crime.
He was among scores of people killed at a rock show in the Bataclan concert hall.
James Walters, a chaplain at LSE, posted a message online saying that he was “Praying for the repose of the soul of Valentin Ribet”.
“Love is stronger than hate Life is stronger than death,” he added
Photo: Hogan Lovells
LSE issued a short announcement saying: “We have learned of some very sad news from our #LSE alumni community, following the attacks in Paris.
“Valentin Ribet, a graduate of the LLM in International Business Law (2014) who had been working in #Paris, has passed away. Our hearts are filled with sadness at this news.”
A spokesman for Hogan Lovells said: “This is an awful tragedy and hard for any of us to truly comprehend.
“We are shocked by both our loss and the wider events in the city.”
Gonzalez was a senior at California State University, Long Beach. The university said Gonzalez, from El Monte, California, was attending Strate College of Design in Paris during a semester abroad program.
Gonzalez was in the Petit Cambodge restaurant with another Long Beach State student when she was fatally shot, Cal State officials said in a news conference Saturday.
A spokesman described Gonzalez as buoyant and extremely energetic. The university was notified of her death by French school officials and confirmed the death with her parents.
Gonzales lived in the Los Angeles suburb of El Monte.
The 23-year-old was on a university exchange program at Strate College of Design in France.
The university was notified of her death by French school officials and confirmed the death with her parents.
Gonzales lived in the Los Angeles suburb of El Monte.
Quentin Boulenger, 29, Rheims, France
Quentin was originally from Rheims but had lived in Paris for several years. He was at the Bataclan when the shooting began.
Manuel Dias, 63, Portugal
Dias was a Portugues national who emigrated to France and lived in Paris. He was killed in one of the explosions near the Stade de France and confirmed dead by the Portuguese government. He was a driver and had just dropped off three passengers near the stadium at the time of the attack.
Djamila Houd, 41, of Paris, France
Houd was originally from the town of Dreux, southwest of the capital. The newspaper serving Dreux – L’Echo Republicain – said Houd was killed at a cafe on the rue de Charrone in Paris. According to Facebook posts from grieving friends, she had worked for Isabel Marant, a prestigious Paris-based ready-to-wear house.
Thomas Ayad, 34, from Amiens, France
Ayad was a product manager for Mercury Music Group and a music buff who was killed at the Bataclan.
In his hometown, Amiens, he was an avid follower of the local field hockey team.
Lucian Grainge – the chairman of Universal Music Group, which owns Mercury Music – said the loss was “an unspeakably appalling tragedy,” in a note to employees provided to the Los Angeles Times on Saturday.
Juan Alberto Gonzalez Garrido, 29, of Madrid, Spain
Garrido also was at the Bataclan concert. The Spanish state broadcaster TVE said Gonzalez Garrido was an engineer, living in France with his wife, also an engineer.
They both were at the concert, but became separated amid the mayhem. El Mundo newspaper reported his wife had managed to escape. However, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was unable to confirm the reports.
Mathieu Hoche, 38, from France
Hoche was a technician at France24 news channel and was also killed at the concert. A friend, Antoine Rousseay, tweeted about how passionately Hoche loved rock ‘n’ roll.
Guillame Decherf, 43, from France
Decherf was a writer who covered rock music for the French culture magazine Les Inrocks.
He was at the Eagles of Death Metal concert, having written just two weeks earlier about the band’s latest album. He had two daughters.
Luis Felipe Zschoche Valle, 33, from Chile
Chile’s Foreign Ministry said two Chilean citizens were killed in the terrorist attacks.
A ministry statement identifies one of the dead as Luis Felipe Zschoche Valle, who it says lived in Paris.
Patricia San Martin Nunez, 61, and her daughter Elsa Veronique Delplace San Martin, both from Chile
The ministry says the other victim was Patricia San Martin, described as a Chilean exile. The ministry says her daughter, French citizen Elsa Veronique Delplace San Martin, also was killed.
The women are described as the niece and grandniece of Chile’s ambassador to Mexico, Ricardo Nunez. Nunez tells Chilean media that his relatives also died at the Bataclan hall. He says two people with them at the concert escaped alive.
Asta Diakite, from France
Lassana Diarra, the footballer who was part of the French team which took on Germany during the match which was attacked, announced that his cousin Asta Diakite, had been killed in one of the attacks.
“She was a support and a big sister to me,” he said.
One of Mohamed’s cousins, Akram Benmbarek, wrote on Facebook that Mohamed had died, while his wife was in a critical condition.
He said: “I just learned that one of my
Mohamed Amine Benmbarek, from MoroccoNohemi Gonzalez, 23, a student from California, United StatesValentin Ribet, 26, a lawyer from FranceMiss Wilson, who runs a catering company Rock en Bol in Paris, said: “Nick was shot in front of me.”
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