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Bastille Day massacre: American father and son named as first victims of Bastille Day terror attack

sean and brodie copeland

A father and son, who were on a ‘dream holiday’ in the Riviera, are the first victims to be named in the Bastille Day massacre, which killed at least 84 people.

Sean Copeland, 51, and Brodie, 11, from Texas, were on holiday in Nice, celebrating a birthday when the attack happened last night.

The pair have been confirmed dead by friends and family online.

Photos on Kim Ressman Copeland profile with Sean Copeland and Brodie Copeland
Sean Copeland was on holiday in the Riviera with his family celebrating a birthday

Sean’s niece, Haley Copeland, wrote on Facebook: ‘By now many of you have heard about the 80 people that have died in Nice, France today from a terrorist attack driving through a parade.

‘2 of those 80 people were American and those 2 people happen to be uncle Sean and 11 year old cousin Brodie. They were there on vacation with my two other cousins and aunt celebrating a birthday.

Photos on Kim Ressman Copeland profile with Sean Copeland and Brodie Copeland
Brodie Copeland, 11, died alongside his father in the attack

‘This is an extremely difficult time for my family and anyone who knows Sean and Brodie Copeland.

‘Losing a loved one is hard no matter the circumstances but losing a loved one in such a tragic and unexpected way is unbearable. Prayers are much appreciated. #CopelandFamily #nice.’

At least 18 people were critically injured in the attack, which happened on the popular Promenade des Anglais at about 11pm local time on Thursday.

The driver, who has now been identified as a 31-year-old French-Tunisian who lived in the city, drove a lorry for hundreds of meters, directly into spectators watching fireworks.

Friends of the family paid tribute to the father and son on Facebook following their deaths on Thursday night.

Victor Flores wrote: ‘I’m in complete shock! Some of the best people I’ve had the privilege to know. You will definitely be missed Sean and Brodie. 

‘Kim, I do not have the words nor know what you are going through. I’m truly sorry for your loss. On behalf of Gio and the rest of my family, we love you!’

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The family were on a ‘dream holiday’ in the Riviera
PICTURE: MATRIXPICTURES.CO.UK PLEASE CREDIT ALL USES UK RIGHTS ONLY Over 84 people, including children, have died in Nice, France. Following Bastille Day celebration fireworks on the famous Promenade des Anglais, a truck driver reportedly zig-zagged his way through the crowds along the promenade, before emerging from the vehicle and shooting. French officials say the driver, who had weapons and hand grenades in the vehicle, was shot dead at the scene. JULY 14th 2016 REF: MXP 162288 PHOTOPQR/NICE MATIN
At least 84 people were killed in the attack
Forensics officers and policemen look for evidences in a truck on the Promenade des Anglais seafront in the French Riviera town of Nice on July 15, 2016, after it drove into a crowd watching a fireworks display. An attack in Nice where a man rammed a truck into a crowd of people left 84 dead and another 18 in a "critical condition", interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said Friday. An unidentified gunman barrelled the truck two kilometres (1.3 miles) through a crowd that had been enjoying a fireworks display for France's national day before being shot dead by police. / AFP PHOTO / ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULATANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images
Forensics officers and policemen look for evidence in a truck on the Promenade des Anglais seafront

Heather Copeland, another niece, shared pictures of the father and son on Twitter and wrote: ‘I don’t even know how to put this in words.’

‘Please keep my family and all the other family’s affected by the tragic event that occurred tonight in your prayers. #PrayForNice #PrayersForFrance.’

Joshua Sanders wrote: ‘Just terrible news. Kim and family are in our prayers. Brodie was such a lovely young man, and Sean an equally great guy.’




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About the author

Sydney Chesterfield

Poet, Playwright, Philosopher, Humanitarian, mad lover of children and unflinching fighter for equality on all grounds viz. Women's rights, child rights, sine die.

Twitter: @syd_field