23 Year-Old Cal State Student Nohemi Gonzalez Was One of the Victims in Paris Terror Attacks

Lead Photo: Nohemi Gonzalez. Photo posted to Facebook by Strate-Ecole de Design.
Nohemi Gonzalez. Photo posted to Facebook by Strate-Ecole de Design.
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As the world reels from the unprecedented series of terror attacks that killed more than 120 people in Paris on Friday, news about the victims has begun to emerge. Among the Americans tragically killed in the attack was 23 year-old Cal State Long Beach student Nohemi Gonzalez, the LA Times reports. According to the university’s president, Gonzalez was eating at the restaurant La Belle Equipe with some of her fellow students when a gunman opened fired and killed her.

Gonzalez was a first generation Mexican-American, and the only daughter of Beatriz Gonzalez, who spoke about her loss at a press conference yesterday. “I feel lost, sadness and she was my only daughter,” Beatriz said. “She was a very strong young woman. She had big decisions, when she went to do something she committed to whatever she was doing.” According to Time, Gonzalez recently paid tribute to her mother and her culture in a class project requiring students to use their identity as the basis to create a brand. Gonzalez wrote, “I am Mexican American, and I also happen to be first generation born in the United States. I grew up in Whittier and had a very hard working mother that raised me to be extremely independent. If I had to describe myself in a few words I would say I am very high spirited, clean, orderly and self driven.”

In the wake of the news of Gonzalez’ death, there has been an outpouring of grief from her friends, family, fellow students, teachers, and community members, all of whom describe her as a kind person and gifted student. “Nohemi was something of a star in our department. She was a shining star,” said her design professor Michael Laforte to ABC 7.

Today, hundreds gathered at a vigil to remember her, held in the University Student Union Ballroom at Cal State Long Beach. A second vigil will take place this Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. at Whittier High School, where Gonzalez graduated in 2010.

Read more at the L.A. Times.