Stories of those who died in the Paris attacks

AP News
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Posted: Nov 25, 2015 3:08 PM
Stories of those who died in the Paris attacks

Among the 130 victims killed in attacks in Paris were students, a filmmaker, a doctor, artists, music lovers and beloved parents and children. They had varied backgrounds and interests. Here are some of their stories:

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Raphael Ruiz, 37, worked at a desk job, but his real love was being on stage with his guitar or studying licks firsthand at concerts. He died when terrorists attacked Bataclan music hall, where he was listening to a rock concert.

Ruiz, of Paris, worked as an editor at a city-based company that provides translation and event services. However, he was best known for his passion for rock and pop music, which took him to scores of concerts. He also played guitar since his teenage years and eventually joined a rock band in Paris.

His death raised an outpouring of fond memories from family and friends.

Former classmates at the Grenoble Institute of Political Studies remembered his passion for music, movies and comic books.

He went on to complete a doctorate in political science, with a thesis focusing on the role of the news media in the conflict in Northern Ireland. He had thoughts of being a journalist himself.

Nicknamed Raph, he also took joy in reading detective stories and memorized lines from his favorite comedy sketches. He idolized the rock group U2.

"His death at a concert seems like a tragic twist of fate, but he left us as he lived, following his passion for music," wrote his friend Damien Caparros, a columnist for Le Nouvel Observateur who memorialized Ruiz on the magazine's website. He remembered that it could be surprising to see Ruiz's energy and emotion with his band, because he was so reserved off stage.

Ruiz's brother Christophe, who was supposed to attend the Bataclan concert but had to change plans, was asked by the France Bleue radio network if he was angry with the terrorists. "I don't give a damn about the terrorists. I'm dealing with my brother," he said. "I'll always be dealing with him, because he's inside me now."

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Mayeul Gaubert was a young business lawyer just a few years into his career, working for a professional training and continuing education company.

Wounded at the Bataclan, the 30-year-old Gaubert was brought to a hospital but succumbed to his injuries, his sister, Anais, told Le Journal de Saone-et-Loire, a newspaper in central France. He had grown up in the region but was living in Paris.

He'd been "a brilliant student" at the Université de Bourgogne, in Burgundy, recalled the dean of his legal program, Vincent Thomas. Gaubert wrote his master's dissertation on intellectual property issues and kept up his interest after his 2009 graduation, contributing to a colleague's blog post on copyright matters.

"Mayeul was a spirited, joyous, nonconformist young man, universally liked," Thomas told The Associated Press.

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Matthieu de Rorthais loved music and died at Bataclan hall listening to a rock concert. De Rorthais, 32, worked in the music section of an electronics store.

A resident of Paris suburb Le Perreux-sur-Marne, he had studied history at Paris University XII. However, he eventually decided to study at MJM Graphic Design school. A self-declared geek, he became a member and moderator of a website for fans of the Japanese anime art form.

De Rorthais had survived cancer during his brief life, according to several news reports. His cousin described him in a social media posting as "kind, gentle and sensitive," according to the website of the news magazine l'Express.

A friend who also belongs to the anime website posted that de Rorthais had designed some DVD jackets with his art skills. "He was also passionate about music, anime and sports — someone who loved life and who was able to overcome sickness and rebound. All of life stood before him," the friend wrote. "Goodbye, friend."

His sister Camille de Rorthais posted a photograph of a single rose against a black background on her Facebook site, saying only: "For my brother — may he rest in peace."

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When the attack started, Nathalie and Serge Lauraine plunged to the floor of the Bataclan and stayed there, frozen, playing dead.

As security forces began an assault on the building about an hour and a half later, "I got up like a robot and left," Serge Lauraine told Sputnik France, a Russian pro-Kremin news site. "That's how I lost her."

Wounded by gunfire, he was hospitalized for a time before being released and continuing to search for his 39-year-old wife, a French and Russian citizen, according to Sputnik France.

Four days after the attack, he confirmed that she had been killed.

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Claire Maitrot-Tapprest was a student straddling two academic worlds, simultaneously pursuing degrees in business and philosophy.

She was also a music fan: She'd been president of a business-student group that organized events to promote local bands in Reims, where she'd been studying, about 80 miles northeast of Paris.

"I define myself as a creative, open, conscientious and hardworking person," she once wrote in a profile for Yatedo, a social networking site.

Maitrot-Tapprest, 23, was enjoying the music she loved when she was killed at the Bataclan. Her death redoubled mourning at Reims' Neoma Business School, which also lost another student, Marie Lausch, in the attack at the club. "We don't have words strong enough to express our grief," the school wrote in a statement on Maitrot-Tapprest's death, which came to light a few days after Lausch's.

While working toward a master's at Neoma, Maitrot-Tapprest also pursued a bachelor's in philosophy at the University of Reims, philosophy professor Michel Terestchenko said on his blog. She had done "brilliantly," he said.

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He's being called "the final victim" — the 130th, and latest, person to die as a result of the Paris attacks.

Stephane Gregoire had just celebrated his 46th birthday. A commercial music promoter, he was at the Bataclan theater assisting with the Eagles of Death Metal concert when terrorist gunmen opened fire.

Riddled by bullets sprayed at the crowd, Gregoire was grievously wounded. The four friends he was partying with all were slain.

For nearly a week, Gregoire fought for his life at Paris' Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital — the same clinic where Princess Diana died after her limousine crashed in a tunnel in 1997.

Six days later, on Nov. 19, he succumbed, leaving behind his wife and their little girl.

Gregoire lived in the town of Nucourt, about 40 miles northwest of Paris. Locals gathered to pay homage.

"The village is devastated," Mayor Philippe Flahaut told the newspaper Le Parisien, describing Gregoire as "very discreet but appreciated."

"I'm weeping and thinking nonstop of you and your family," a friend, Veronique Vantz, said in an online post, recalling "all the evenings we shared that were lit up by your charisma and kindness."

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Lola Ouzounian, 17, was at the Bataclan on a father-daughter outing. She and her dad, Eric, got separated amid the violence and chaos of the attack.

He was all right. But she disappeared.

Her family, friends and supporters on social media sought word of her for five days. Then officials gave her family the news it had dreaded, Mourad Papazian, the chairman of the Coordinating Council for Armenian Organizations in France, told the Armenian news site News.am.

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Maxime Bouffard was a 26-year-old independent filmmaker who was supposed to have spent the evening with his girlfriend, his sister and her friends at a restaurant. But at the last minute, he remembered he had tickets to the concert at the Bataclan.

He died in a friend's arms when gunman stormed the concert hall.

"He was meant to come with us that evening but he called me at 7 p.m. to say he'd forgotten about these tickets he had to the concert, and would I mind if he went and joined us after?" Elodie Bouffard told The New York Times. "He was really excited and really wanted to go. He'd been working so hard; I think the concert slipped his mind."

Her brother was a longtime rugby player, passionate about music and his filmmaking included directing music videos for bands. Originally from the Dordogne in southwest France, he worked in television production.

He had just wrapped up a music video for the Parisian pop group Le Dernier Métro.

"He was very happy here, he had lots of work, lots of friends," Elodie Bouffard said. "He was generous and well-liked. He was the kind of person who you don't forget."

He attended the concert with a friend from college. "By the time his friend said they should get down, Maxime had taken a bullet and was already dead," she said. "He'd fallen into his friends arms."

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Cedric Ginestou was the new guy at his company, but within a few months, he'd already earned his colleagues' affection and admiration.

Ginestou, 27, was enjoying a drink on the terrace of the restaurant La Belle Equipe when he was gunned down.

Like so many young people drawn to life in the French capital, Ginestou wasn't a Parisian — at least not by birth. He grew up in the town of Laval, 190 miles southwest of Paris.

But the glitz and excitement of the big city drew bright lights like Ginestou, a graduate of a prestigious business school in Bordeaux. Last January, he landed a job at Bengs, a Paris-based management consulting company.

"Engaging, honest, hard-working, personable — that's how I saw him," a colleague, Franck Sauvonnet, wrote in memoriam on the funeral home's page. "Rest in peace, Cedric."

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Stella Verry was a young Parisian doctor known for being close to her patients, smiling even under difficult circumstances. When her companion, Quentin Savoyen, heard of the attacks, he took off on his bicycle to try to find her. When she didn't answer her cell phone, he figured she might be busy taking care of victims.

Instead, she was among those who died, killed by gunmen at Le Petit Cambodge restaurant, according to the French newspaper Le Quotidien. Verry was born in Paris, did her university studies there and worked at the Pole De Sante Les Eiders health center.

Officials at the Pole De Sante Les Eiders said the 37-year-old Verry "was very close with her patients, very respectful and understanding in difficult situations, always smiling." On weekends, she also worked at the SAMU de Paris, the city's urgent care hub. Verry had both a doctor of pharmacy degree and a specialized diploma in general medicine, according to the French Society of Emergency Doctor.

Savoyen told the newspaper Verry was also very outgoing, liked going to the theater, took cooking classes, and often used her bicycle to get around Paris. She loved to travel and visit museums.

"Stella had an insatiable cultural curiosity," Savoyen said.

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Caroline Prenat grew up in Lyon, but her ambitions of becoming a great graphic designer had recently brought her to Paris.

While chasing her dream, the 24-year-old was working a mundane job at a movie cinema — so a night out at the Eagles of Death Metal concert at the Bataclan was a welcome change of pace.

Witnesses said she was one of the first to die when the attackers started shooting into the crowd, her father, Yves Prenat, told the newspaper Le Progres.

"She didn't have time to be afraid," he said.

Prenat was being laid to rest at a funeral Mass presided over by Lyon's Roman Catholic archbishop.

Friends and colleagues remembered her as "a ray of sunshine."

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Hugo Sarrade was deeply shaken by last January's deadly attacks targeting the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a kosher grocery in Paris.

He was so moved by the killings of 17 people in those attacks, the 23-year-old participated in a solidarity march near his home in the southern city of Montpellier.

"He had so much sadness and compassion," his father, Stephane, told the newspaper Midi Libre.

Sarrade, a guitarist and rock afficiando, loved to attend music festivals around Europe. The Bataclan was his first stop on a quick trip to Paris to spend the weekend with his dad.

He never made it out of the concert hall.

"It's logical that a son outlives his father — not that a father buries his son," his grieving father said.

Sarrade was working on a master's degree in artificial intelligence.

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Charlotte and Emilie Meaud were twins, born together 30 years ago. The two also died together while catching up at the Parisian bar Le Carillion, one of the restaurants targeted by gunmen this month, according to the French newspaper Le Populaire.

The Meaud twins grew up in Aixe-sur-Vienne in central France. They were very close and it was hard to distinguish between the two, said Le Populaire. Several hundred people gathered in the small town after the attacks to pay tribute with a minute of silence.

In recent years, the sisters had built successful careers in the French capital. Emilie was an architect at Chartier Dalix; the agency confirmed her death on its Facebook page. Emilie's alma mater, the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, also eulogized the young woman on its Facebook page.

Charlotte worked at Scientipôle Initiative, a company that helps innovative start-ups. 'We will remember her love for life,' Scientipôle said via Twitter. Charlotte had studied at the Université de Strasbourg and the Université Claude Bernard in Lyon, according to her LinkedIn page.

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Eric Thome, 39, was an artist, music fan, and father with a 5-year-old girl and another child on the way when he died during the attack at Bataclan concert hall.

Thome, of suburban Clichy, and a business partner were running their own Paris design studio after working in the advertising business for years.

His partner and friend of 15 years, Laurent Duvoux, 38, was at his side at the concert and escaped with his own girlfriend. When they heard gunfire, they lay on the floor for 10 or 15 minutes before dashing to an exit, but Thome never followed, Duvoux told The Associated Press.

"He loved movies, photos, music. He loved to talk about them. He loved to discover new artists," Duvoux said. The two men often went to concerts together.

Their studio specialized in bold, fanciful, often daring illustrations and photographs. Among the art co-created by the two partners is a whimsical illustration of a Kalashnikov assault rifle that looks like a plastic toy covered in cartoon-like drawings. Its stock says in bold letters: "It's not my war."

Asked if he had particular feelings now toward the French bombing campaign in Syria, Duvoux said, "No, I have feelings for Eric and his girlfriend."

She was due to give birth to Thome's second child in early December.

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Armelle Pumir Anticevic and her husband, Joseph, had cause to celebrate. He runs romantic boat cruises on the Seine River, and he had just landed an important contract. So the Paris couple of 25 years decided to have a little romantic fun of their own at the rock concert at Bataclan hall, where she died in the terrorist attack. He survived.

She was the 46-year-old mother of two children, ages 9 and 11. In an Associated Press interview, her husband, Joseph Anticevic, recounted the events of that night with horror, anguish and regret. He said he and his wife were listening to the show when they heard popping noises that sounded like fireworks. At first, they took it for part of the show but then realized something was wrong. They saw three attackers spraying gunfire into the crowd from automatic weapons.

Anticevic remembered them yelling that "it was for their brothers in Syria and Iraq."

At first, the couple dropped to the ground. Then, the terrorists went up a stairway, and the couple saw their chance to run for the exit. Stepping over bodies, they neared the main exit, but his wife crumbled into his arms, shot from behind. He gathered her up as best he could and kept pushing for the door. Two police officers appeared, exchanging gunfire with the terrorists. The officers wanted to lead him out, but he couldn't manage with the lifeless weight of his wife. "I abandoned her, left her on the floor," he said, speaking French.

But once outside, he told the police desperately, "My wife is still inside!" He tried to follow the two officers back into the theater, but they were repelled by more gunfire from the terrorists. In the interview several days after the ordeal, he voiced no regret about what he felt he had to do. "Those police officers got me out. They saved my life."

Outside the theater, his thoughts turned to his children. He phoned, and his son picked up. He had been watching television and knew of an attack already. The father recalled the boy saying: "Daddy, I'm glad at least one of you is still alive."

Since then, his wife has been remembered and memorialized for her smile and vivacity. She began working for the firm Logic Design in the Paris suburb of Boulogne almost 10 years ago. The firm remembered their production manager as strong and full of life. The statement on their website ended defiantly, saying, "We will keep living, working, and we won't give in to adversity."

The family had long kept a vacation home in the mountains of southern France. A friend from there was quoted on the news website of L'Independent as saying: "Armelle was quite down-to-earth and loved life."

Anticevich remembered her as joyful, tolerant, feminist — with little interest in politics. "She always saw the good in people, not the bad," he said. "She was the most beautiful gift of my life."

Toward the terrorists, he expressed only pity: "They aren't human."

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It was supposed to be a night of champagne and celebration.

Thierry Hardouin booked one of the best tables at La Belle Equipe. It was the birthday of his girlfriend, Marie-Aimee Dalloz, and he wanted everything to be perfect.

Instead, the lovers were gunned down in the adjacent Rue de Charonne when the terror cell struck the Paris restaurant.

Dalloz, 35, was an asset recovery specialist at a bank. Hardouin, 41, was a 15-year veteran police officer in Bobigny, just outside the French capital.

His fellow officers bitterly bemoaned his death.

"We knew each other since the police academy," Jean-Luc Dubo told the newspaper Le Parisien. "He was a colleague and a very good friend. We'll always treasure the picture of someone who loved life — a joyful man, helpful, and so professional. He brought good humor to the police force."

Arnaud Leduc, a ranking police official in Bobigny, said Hardouin was highly respected. At the time of his death, he was assigned to transporting prisoners to and from court appearances.

"Thierry did business daily with dangerous people. He was always on alert," Leduc said.

His nickname was "Titi," and friends said he loved guitars, cigars and traveling. They were raising money to help defray the cost of his funeral and to underwrite part of the costs of educating his three children.

"Money won't bring back our friend, Thierry, who we'll miss forever. But it's a way to lend a hand to his family," organizer Romain Jumelet told French television.

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Marion Jouanneau, 24, was attending a rock concert at the Bataclan with her boyfriend, Loic, when the concert hall was stormed by armed attackers. By Saturday, Marion's family was desperate for news of her whereabouts.

"My niece and goddaughter was at the Bataclan last night ... we are without word of her and are unable to get any word as of yet. This wait is unbearable. If you have the least information, please contact me," her uncle, Frédéric Potier, posted on social media network sites.

Her boyfriend Loic, under the Twitter handle Zislauk, indicated on the Monday after the attack that Marion's loved ones still held out hope that she would be found alive.

"The list of victims hasn't been updated since yesterday at noon. I hope it will be updated during the day and I still hope to see Marion alive." But that hope was extinguished within the hour, when he tweeted: "Marion is dead."

The next day, again by Twitter, he told the world: "Today with her sister and our families, we saw the body of Marion. This is a trial that I wouldn't wish on anyone."

A death notice in L'echo republicain newspaper said her funeral will be held on Nov. 25 at the cathedral in her hometown of Chartres.

On a website that linked to the death notice, mourners were invited to leave messages of condolence.

"Rest in peace beautiful angel," one person wrote.

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By profession, Pierre-Antoine Henry was an engineer for a company that designed systems for military use.

But the father of two was also a dedicated rock fan who had traveled far and wide to see his favorite band, Pearl Jam, said childhood friend Julien Noel. Henry, 36, had followed his yen for music to the Eagles of Death Metal show at the Bataclan, where he was killed.

The kind of person who always came through for friends and family, Henry was "never angry, never sad, never nervous — pretty much happy all the time and smiling and nice to people. Someone that you would trust for pretty much anything," Noel told The Associated Press.

Henry and his girlfriend and partner of 14 years were raising their daughters, 2 and 5, outside Paris in Versailles. He had earned a degree in 2002 from Paris' L'Ecole de L'Innovation Technologique, the engineering and technology school said on its website.

Among his friends, "he was known as the nicest guy on Earth," Noel said, "which I believe is true."

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Jean-Jacques Amiot, 68, was a photographer who took his retirement seriously by following his artistic passions. He worked at a silk-screen shop in Paris with his wife. He also loved rock music and going out. He was at the Bataclan when gunmen attacked.

After news of the attacks erupted, Patrick Amiot had a terrible premonition about his brother Jean-Jacques. A phone call from their 90-year-old mother confirmed the terrible news.

"When my mother called, the words failed to come out of her mouth," Patrick told the Telegramme. "My parents are in their 90s. They had five children ... Can you imagine?"

"The world of music, culture, Bataclan, this world was his world," Patrick said of his late brother, who hung photos of Jimi Hendrix on the walls of his workshop.

Patrick's daughter, Caroline Amiot, said the family continued to reel from shock.

"Words cannot describe the horror into which my family has been plunged," Caroline told Ouest-France newspaper. "My uncle was brutally killed. In a few months, many will have forgotten the events. My family will have them forever."

Jean-Jacques Amiot had two daughters and a number of grandchildren.

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Nicolas Catinat is a hero in Domont, a town north of Paris. The 37-year-old carpenter was enjoying a rock concert with his friends when a hail of gunfire erupted.

The deputy mayor of the town said that when Catinat, a carpenter, saw carnage unfolding in front of him, he positioned himself in front of his friends to protect them. He was killed.

"Brave," wrote Deputy Mayor Jerome Chartier on his Facebook page, in a tribute to Catinat.

To remember him and his heroic deeds, the town of Domont will name a park at city hall in Catinat's name, according to Le Parisien newspaper.

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When Frederic Henninot's colleagues at the Banque de France gathered for a moment of silence in his honor, it was the second time in a year that France's central bank was mourning the loss of one of its own in a terror attack. A member of its General Council, economist and journalist Bernard Maris, was killed in January's assault on the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.

"Once again, terrorism has plunged France and our institution into mourning," the bank's union, CGT Banque de France, said on its website in a statement on Henninot's death.

Henninot, 45, worked at the bank's branch in Cergy, in the Paris suburbs. He was killed during the terrorist attack on the Bataclan concert hall, where his girlfriend and two of his co-workers were wounded, the union said via its website and Facebook page.

Henninot had two children, according to the newspaper Le Parisien.

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Thibault Rousse Lacordaire, 37, was an investment banker with a big heart. By day, he worked for an equity management company in Paris. In his off hours, he volunteered for a city food pantry and soup kitchen. He died in the terrorist attack on the Bataclan concert hall.

His educational resume was long, beginning with Catholic school in a Paris suburb. He studied economics and management at the University Paris Dauphine and earned an advanced degree in finances at Paris University Val-de-Marne. During the work day, Lacordaire was a financial controller at Colony Capital in Paris, working on deals and answering questions for investors, according to his LinkedIn profile. But in his spare time, he volunteered for a local soup kitchen, serving food to the needy, sitting with them at family-style tables with simple settings, and engaging in animated conversation. On a video on the soup kitchen's website, he says he once went on vacation with several people he met there.

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Anne-Laure Arruebo and Cecile Coudon Peccadeau de L'isle weren't just colleagues. They were the closest of friends.

That friendship, and the inviting ambiance of an unseasonably mild evening, brought them to the outdoor terrace of a bar on the Rue de Charonne for a drink.

Like so many Parisians on that frightful Friday the 13th, they died together — unable to escape the hail of terrorist bullets that swept the sidewalk.

Arruebo, 36, and Peccadeau de L'Isle, 37, both worked as customs inspectors in the same office.

The French news website La Depeche quoted an unidentified acquaintance of the Arruebo family as saying: "Anne-Laure was a happy girl who loved life and threw herself into her work. Her family is devastated."

On Friday, a week after the attacks, France's customs workers union posted a tribute to both women on its website.

"We miss them already," it said.

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Julien Galisson was a world traveler who worked odd jobs, saved his money and then took off for various parts of the world, according to the French newspaper Presse Océan.

Galisson, 32, from Nantes, was also passionate about music, played the saxophone, and went to many concerts, including that of the Eagles of Death Metal, the U.S. band that was playing Friday night at the Bataclan concert hall when it was attacked by terrorists. Galisson was with a friend, who survived.

Friends called Galisson "the man in the hat" because he loved to wear a colorful hat he had received as a gift during a stay in Thailand.

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Associated Press writers who also contributed to this report: Kate Brumback in Atlanta; Pam Sampson in Atlanta; Lisa Marie Pane in Atlanta; Jennifer Peltz in New York. Jeff Donn reported from Plymouth, Massachusetts; William J. Kole from Boston; and Gosia Wozniacka from Portland, Oregon.