Nohemi Gonzalez, a student at California State University-Long Beach was one of the many people slain in the terror attacks in Paris last Friday.

Nohemi Gonzalez: American Student Killed In Paris Attacks

A senior studying abroad at the Strate College of Design in Paris, Gonzalez had been out grabbing drinks at La Belle Equipe with friends when the shots rang out. “The first thing I heard was the noise like firecrackers,” Gonzalez’s friend Niran Jayasiri told the New York Daily News. “Then I saw the gunman. He was across the street from us, coming from behind us and walking in our direction.”

Gonzalez, Jayasiri and other members of their party ran for their lives from the gunfire. Jayasiri had taken cover in a nearby grocery store and soon learned that Gonzalez had not survived the shooting from a mutual friend who was with her when she died.

“She just said, ‘Nohemi’s dead,’ ” Jayasiri remembered. “My friend was with her at that time. I didn’t want to believe it, and I asked, ‘How do you know?’ She just said, ‘I’m right next to her.’ ”

Martin Herman, the design department chair at Cal State spoke at a vigil for Gonzalez Sunday. “There are simply no words to express the profound grief and loss,” Herman said. “She was so excited to be in Paris. May Nohemi’s voice, bright spirit, playfulness, ideals and hope continue to inspire and illuminate the department of design, her university family and all those she touched during her all too short time with us.”

Gonzalez’s boyfriend of four years, Tim Mraz, also spoke at the vigil, calling her a “little firecracker.”

“If you didn’t know her, she had a Pocahontas tattoo on her left arm. She always said I was her ‘John Smith,’ ” Mraz said, according to NBC Los Angeles. “She was a little firecracker. You’re always in my heart. I love you, baby.”

The terror attacks in Paris last Friday, which took place at restaurants, bars and in a concert hall, claimed the lives of 129 people and left more that 350 injured.

 

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