Attack victims came from around world to celebrate Barcelona

AP News
Posted: Aug 22, 2017 3:16 PM
Attack victims came from around world to celebrate Barcelona

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — The victims of last week's attacks in Barcelona and a nearby resort town came from around the world and across generations. The latest to be identified by name Tuesday were a Portuguese grandmother and her granddaughter.

Fifteen people were killed and more than 120 others wounded in Barcelona and the nearby town of Cambrils on Thursday and Friday. The dead and injured represented nearly three dozen countries, places where loved ones are in mourning or experiencing a new kinship with the people of Spain.

Here are some details about the victims:


Pau Perez, 34, Spain

Perez was parking his car in Barcelona when the alleged Barcelona van attack driver attacked and stabbed him while fleeing police after mowing down dozens of people on Las Ramblas.

The attacker then dumped Perez' in the back seat and drove away, later crashing through a police barrier and injuring an officer before ditching the vehicle containing the body in a town outside the Catalan capital.

The confirmation Monday ended days of uncertainty over Perez's exact fate, although it seems police had already told his family and neighbors in his hometown of Vilafranca de Penedes he was dead, without giving the full details during investigations.

Spanish media said Perez was an NGO worker and keen soccer fan.

The town Twitter account announced it deeply lamented his death, declaring three days of mourning.


Julian Cadman, 7, Australia and Britain

The British and Australian governments and Catalan emergency services announced the death of 7-year-old Julian Cadman on Sunday. The boy, a dual citizen of Australia and Britain, had been missing since the attack that seriously injured his mother.

Julian and his mother, Jom Cadman, were in Barcelona for a family wedding and enjoying the sights when a van sped down the Las Ramblas promenade targeting pedestrians. His mother, a 43-year-old from the Philippines who had been living in Australia, was hospitalized.

"He was so energetic, funny and cheeky, always bringing a smile to our faces," the child's family said in a statement released by the Australian department for foreign affairs after his death was announced.

On Friday, Julian's grandfather posted an appeal on Facebook with Julian's photo asking for help finding him. The Australian prime minister asked people to pray for him, and the British prime minister said the government was urgently looking into his situation.

The family statement extended sympathy to others coping with losses and thanked all those who helped search for Julian, saying "Your kindness was incredible during a difficult time."

"We are so blessed to have had him in our lives and will remember his smiles and hold his memory dear to our hearts."


Pepita Codina, 75, Spain

Pepita Codina is being honored with a makeshift memorial in Hipolit de Voldrega, her hometown of 3,000 people near Barcelona.

Mayor Xavier Vilamala tweeted that he was "very sad and distressed" by the news of her death.

Local media reported that Codina's daughter, Elisabet, was injured in the attack, but is currently out of danger at Hospital del Marin Barcelona.

Neighbor Enriqueta Ordeig described Codina as a "very good woman" who moved to the town when her husband retired, according to El Pais newspaper.


Maria de Lurdes Ribeiro, 74, and Maria Correia, 20, Portugal

The granddaughter and grandmother were in Barcelona to celebrate the grandmother's birthday when they were caught up in the horror on Las Ramblas, according to Portuguese media reports.

They had arrived in the city for a week's vacation just a few hours before they were killed, Jose Luis Carneiro, a Lisbon official, told reporters.

The older woman was reported dead Friday, while the younger woman was initially reported as missing before finally being identified Saturday. Those hours left her parents in a painful limbo, Carneiro said.

The parents are "broken-hearted," Carneiro said. "Firstly, because they were caught by surprise by the death of the man's mother and then spent hours not knowing what had happened to their daughter."

They were due to be buried near Lisbon on Wednesday.


Bruno Gulotta, 35, Italy

A father from Legnano in northern Italy is being praised as a hero who protected his children during the Barcelona attack.

One of Gulotta's work colleagues, Pino Bruno, told the Italian news agency ANSA that he saved the life of his two young children — Alessandro, 6, and Aria, 7 months — by throwing himself between them and the van that mowed people down.

Bruno said he spoke to Gulotta's wife, Martina, and she told him her husband had been holding the 6-year-old's hand on the tourist-thronged avenue in Barcelona when "the van appeared suddenly."

"Everyone knelt down, instinctively, as if to protect themselves," Bruno said, adding that Gulotta put himself in front of his children and was fatally struck.

Gulotta was a sales manager for Tom's Hardware Italia, an online publication about technology. "Rest in peace, Bruno, and protect your loved ones from up high," read one tribute on the company's website.


Carmen Lopardo, 80, Italy

Lopardo, apparently the oldest person to die in the attack, was among three Italians killed in Barcelona, according to Italy's foreign ministry.

In a statement, it said Lopardo was killed in the "vile terrorist attack in Barcelona," without providing details.

News reports said Lopardo was an Italian who had immigrated to Argentina in 1950 and was visiting Barcelona.


Silvina Alejandra Pereyra, 40, Argentina and Spain

Argentina's Foreign Ministry says Pereyra, an Argentine-Spanish dual citizen who resided in Barcelona for the last 10 years, is among those who died.

It says in a statement that her death was confirmed through family members living in Bolivia after a cousin identified her body at a morgue in Barcelona.

The Argentine government expressed its deep regret over the pain caused to Pereyra's family and friends and said its diplomatic missions in Barcelona and Madrid are working to assist.


Francisco Lopez Rodriguez, 57, and Javier Martinez, 3, Spain

Francisco Lopez Rodriguez was killed with his 3-year-old grand-nephew, Javier Martinez, while walking along Las Ramblas.

Lopez was accompanied by his wife, Roser — who is recovering from her wounds in a hospital — her niece and the niece's two children, one of them Javier.

"He was a lovely man, kind and charitable" and always telling jokes, said 81-year-old Natalia Moreno Perez from Lopez's native Lanteira, a town of 700 inhabitants outside Granada in southern Spain.

Lopez left the town with his family in the 1960s to seek work and was a metal worker living in Rubi, a migrant town of 75,000 people northwest of Barcelona.

"We are a broken family," niece Raquel Baron Lopez posted on Twitter.


Luca Russo, 25, Italy

One of Italy's three victims in the Barcelona van attack is being mourned as a brilliant young engineer dragged to his death before his girlfriend's eyes.

A determined Luca Russo, 25, already had a job in electronic engineering, no easy feat in Italy, where youth unemployment runs stubbornly high.

"We were investing in him. We wanted to make him grow professionally," the Italian news agency ANSA quoted Stefano Facchinello, one of the partners in the Padua-area company where Russo had worked for a year, as saying.

The girlfriend, Marta Scomazzon, who was hospitalized with a fractured foot and elbow, told an aunt that "we were walking together, then the van came on top of us."


Ana Maria Suarez, 67, Spain

The Spanish royal family sent condolences to Ana Maria Suarez's family via Twitter after she died in the attack in the resort town of Cambrils.

According to local media, Suarez was originally from the city of Zaragoza, and was on vacation with her family. Suarez's husband and one of her sisters were injured and being treated at a hospital.

They had just eaten dinner and were celebrating the husband's 69th birthday, walking in the crowded port area of Cambrils hours after the Barcelona attack, according to El Mundo newspaper.

Suarez is the only fatal victim in the attack in Cambrils, where five attackers wearing fake explosives belts were shot dead by police.


Jared Tucker, 42, United States

California resident Jared Tucker, 42, and his wife were ending their European vacation in Barcelona and on their way to a beach when they decided to stop at a cafe on Las Ramblas.

Shortly after her husband left to use the restroom, chaos broke out, Heidi Nunes-Tucker, 40, told The Associated Press.

She said people were running, screaming and crying, and that she never saw her husband again.

Later, she learned he was among those killed in the truck attack in Barcelona, the only known American among the 13 people who died.

Nunes-Tucker called her husband the love of her life and says she's struggling to make sense of the violence.

She said the pair met at an annual art and wine festival in 2012, spent the night talking and dancing, "and we were pretty much inseparable after that."

"It was an instant connection," she said.

Tucker's father, Daniel Tucker, said the couple had saved for the European vacation to celebrate their one-year wedding anniversary. They also visited Paris and Venice.

Jared Tucker, who worked with his father in a family business remodeling swimming pools, also leaves behind three daughters.


Elke Vanbockrijck, Belgium

Vanbockrijck was at the KFC Heur Tongeren soccer club "nearly every day" ferrying her 10- and 14-year-old boys back and forth to training and matches, team president Arnould Partoens said.

The family was on vacation in Barcelona. The boys and their father, a policeman, were unhurt, he said.

Team vice president Herwig Dessers said coaches and players would stand in silence to remember her over the next few days "and talk to the children about what happened."

A picture of Vanbockrijck now rests on the bar inside the clubhouse.


Ian Moore Wilson, 53, Canada

Ian Moore Wilson's daughter Fiona described him as an adventurous traveler and "much-loved husband, father, brother and grandfather."

The Vancouver police department issued a statement from Fiona, a staff sergeant in the force, saying that Wilson had been killed and his wife, Valerie, had been injured in the attack.

Fiona Wilson and the Vancouver police thanked the emergency workers and others who helped her father in his final moments and got medical assistance for her mother.

"In the midst of this tragedy, my dad would want those around him to focus on the extraordinary acts of human kindness that our family has experienced over the past several days, and that is exactly what we intend to do," she wrote.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said four other Canadians were injured in the extremist attacks.


Ciaran Giles in Madrid; Danica Kirka in London; Barry Hatton and Helena Alves in Lisbon, Portugal; Jocelyn Gecker in Walnut Creek, California; Lorne Cook in Brussels; Nicole Winfield in Rome; Kristen Gelineau in Sydney; Amanda Lee Myers in Los Angeles; and Jennifer Peltz in New York contributed to this report.