Left: Photo of Nohemi Gonzalez courtesy of the Strate College of Design Facebook page.
UPDATE | Representatives from Cal State Long Beach (CSUB) and the city of Long Beach, as well as other educational officials gathered on the sun-dappled patio of the University Student Union building at Cal State Long Beach on Saturday, convening to remember Nohemi Gonzalez, the CSULB student killed in Friday’s Paris attacks.
Gonzalez’ death has been the only confirmed American fatality reported after Friday’s attacks, although there has been confirmation that several other Americans were injured.
The cool breeze moving through the courtyard on a calm California afternoon stood in harsh contrast to the chaos that erupted halfway around the world last night and took the life of Gonzalez.
CSULB President Jane Close Conoley stood solemnly at the podium, explaining that Gonzalez had been at a restaurant in Paris with other students, including CSULB students, when she was shot by an attacker.
She said the university has confirmed that 16 other CSULB students studying abroad in Paris are safe, and they remain in contact with students and families in Paris, as well as French exchange students studying at CSULB.
“I and the entire campus are heartbroken to share this terrible news,” said Close Conoley. “[…] Today we mourn the loss of Nohemi and all the other victims in the attacks.”
“The entire city of Long Beach and our community mourn the loss of Nohemi Gonzalez,” said Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. “We as a city could not be more heartbroken at her loss as well as the loss that other students here of our community are going through and will be experiencing today and the coming weeks.”
CSULB Assistant Vice President Terri Carbaugh called her classmates in Paris “heroic,” as it was due to them that the family is aware of Gonzalez’s death.
“[…] To the best of our understanding, they were out at the time of the attack,” said Carbaugh. “One of her friends did see that she was shot by a terrorist, but [the friend] was able to flee. She did see that Nohemi was carried away on a stretcher, but she could not tell at that time, the outcome.”
CSULB Assistant Vice President Terri Carbaugh addresses the media. All photos and video of the press conference by Keeley Smith.
As previously reported, a vigil will be held to mourn the loss of Nohemi and other victims in the Paris attacks, at 4:00PM Sunday at CSULB. The vigil is scheduled to take place on the Friendship Walk, near the bottom level of the University Student Union building, in the same location as Saturday’s press conference.
Gonzelaz, 23, was a junior majoring in industrial design.
Michael LaForte, a lecturer in CSULB’s design department, knew Gonzalez firsthand and described her as “buoyant” and “joyous,” with a “lively” personality.
“There was no shortage of anything you could ask her to do, and she’d be there for her classmates,” said LaForte.
Above, right: Nohemi Gonzalez sits, center, with friends. Photo courtesy of the Remembering Nohemi Gonzalez Facebook page. Left: Michael LaForte speaks to the media, remembering Gonzalez.
PREVIOUSLY: Cal State Long Beach Student Killed in Paris Attacks
11/14/15 at 11:11AM | Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) student Nohemi Gonzalez, 23, was killed during the attacks that occurred in and around Paris on Friday, November 13, the school announced Saturday. She was one of 17 CSULB students studying abroad in Paris, the other 16 of whom have been located and found safe, the school reported in an advisory sent Saturday afternoon.
Gonzalez was a junior studying design, from El Monte, California. She was in Paris completing a semester study abroad program with the Strate College of Design, according to school officials.
A vigil will be held on campus at 4:00PM at CSULB to “mourn Gonzalez’s passing and to grieve for all the victims of the atrocious attack,” the university stated. More details regarding the vigil are forthcoming.
“I’m deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Long Beach State University student Nohemi Gonzalez. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends during this sad time,” said CSULB President Jane Close Conoley in a statement. “Our university stands with our nearly eighty foreign exchange students from France as they struggle with this tragedy. We will extend all support necessary to comfort them. We will also extend support to all students, faculty and staff who are in need.
“I am saddened to hear that a @CSULB student was killed in the attacks in Paris,” said Long Beach City College Superintendent-President Eloy Oakley in a tweet. “All of us in Long Beach extend our prayers to her family.”
I am saddened to hear that a @CSULB student was killed in the attacks in Paris. All of us in Long Beach extend our prayers to her family.
— Eloy Ortiz Oakley (@EloyOakley) November 14, 2015
This story will be updated as more information becomes available. Follow the New York Times’ live coverage for the latest news on the situation in Paris.
This story was updated on 11/14/15 at 11:59AM with the correct age of Nohemi Gonzalez (23), which was clarified in a later release sent by CSULB.