Friends mourn Cal State Long Beach student killed in Paris terror attacks – Los Angeles Times

A Cal State Long Beach student was among those killed in the Paris terrorist attacks, according to the university.

Nohemi Gonzalez, a 23-year-old design student from the El Monte area, was part of an international exchange program at the Strate School of Design. She was dining with fellow Cal State Long Beach students at a Paris restaurant Friday night when she was killed, the university’s president said. The 16 other students studying in France have been reported safe.

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FOR THE RECORD

11:35 a.m.: An earlier version of this article reported Gonzalez’s age as 20. According to Cal State Long Beach officials, she was 23.

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On Saturday, Gonzalez’s friends expressed their sorrow over her death.

“Yesterday I lost the most important person in my life,” wrote Gonzalez’s boyfriend, Tim Mraz, on Instagram. “She was my best friend and she will always be my angel forever. I am lost for words. My prayers are with her family. Such a bright soul and the sweetest girl with a smile on her face.”

He posted a photo of the two embracing. Weeks earlier, he had sent her birthday wishes and mentioned that they would see each other in December. “I’ve missed you so much and I wish I could be with you to celebrate in Paris.”

Mraz and his family declined to speak to reporters Saturday as friends visited their Bellflower home. The events were too fresh, too painful, a neighbor said when exiting.


Alejandra Gonzalez attended Whittier High School with Gonzalez and said the two were on the cross-country team. She said her friend had a strong work ethic but knew when to be lighthearted and smile.

“She was kind to everyone — a remarkable and unforgettable person,” she told The Times. “The world lost such a beautiful shining light.”

Many of Gonzalez’s friends took to Facebook to express their sorrow.

“It crushes my soul that you’re gone but you were off being a free spirit like you’ve always been,” wrote Madeline Chavez.

 

 

“I’m still trying to process this all but it’s just too much to take,” wrote Niran Jayasiri. “You were one of the most down to earth, cheerful, bubbly, helpful and honest people I knew.”

“I swear this is a sick joke,” wrote another friend. “I love you sunshine. you always seem to find the bright side of everything.. But right now i dont seem to see it…”

According to her Facebook page, Gonzalez had been part of a team that recently won second place in the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge for inventing a biodegradable snack pack that can sprout plants. Her last public post mentioned her exchange program. “Learning a 3D modeling computer program in a language I don’t know is up there in the top 3 hardest things I’ve ever had to do.”

The director of the Strate School of Design posted a statement on social media about Gonzalez and the attacks.


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