California Student Among Paris Victims
Nohemi Gonzalez, 23, was studying design
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 15, 2015 3:29 PM CST
Nohemi Gonzalez.   (YouTube)

(Newser) – As authorities identify victims of the Paris attacks—who come from countries as varied as England, Mexico, and Morocco—America is grieving one of its own. Nohemi Gonzalez, 23, was dining out at a restaurant with other Cal State Long Beach students Friday when terrorists took her life, the LA Times reports. "Yesterday I lost the most important person in my life," her boyfriend Tim Mraz wrote on Instagram. "She was my best friend and she will always be my angel forever. I am lost for words. My prayers are with her family." A senior studying design, Gonzalez was recently on a team that took second place in a design contest for making a biodegradable snack pack that could also grow plants. Among the other victims:

  • Nick Alexander of Colchester, England, was working as merchandising manager for the Eagles of Death Metal when terrorist gunfire erupted at their concert, Rolling Stone and the Telegraph report. "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," his family says. "Peace and light."
  • Among the French victims are Thomas Ayad, 34, an employee of Mercury Records; Asta Diakite, the cousin of French soccer player Lassana Diarra; and journalist Guillaume Decherf of Inrocks magazine, the BBC reports. "We are living a nightmare," Caroline Pallut tells Reuters of her cousin, 37-year-old Maud Serrault, who died at the concert. "It is all so senseless. She had only just got married." Her husband got out of there but lost track of his wife; her family eventually found her body at the morgue.
  • At least 23 of the 129 victims were foreigners, including three Belgians, a Swede, a German, an Italian, two Romanians, three Chileans, two Algerians, and a Spanish national, the BBC reports.
  • "This sort of thing usually happens to other people," Alberto Solesin says of his Italian daughter Valeria Solesin, 28, who was shot and killed at the concert. "She had a scholarship and she would have finished her degree next year."