We are continuing to learn more about the terror attack in Nice, France on Thursday night, and it continues to get more and more tragic.
According to media reports and the words of French president Francois Hollande, the death toll has risen to 84 people — all killed when a truck driver mowed down a large crowd during Bastille Day celebrations in the southern city.
We also have learned the identity of the man behind the carnage; officials say he is Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, and it is now confirmed that police did kill him Thursday night to stop the attack.
He was a French citizen of Tunisian descent, and even though he had been known to police in connection with minor crimes and petty theft, nothing he had done had gotten him on France’s terror watch list.
French TV reports apparently described Bouhlel as a young father of three who may have been going through a crumbling marriage, though other reports allege he was not married.
Regardless, France’s BFM TV reports that he was “depressed and unstable,” and “more into women than religion.”
Of the 84 people dead, officials have confirmed that two were Americans and ten were children.
The U.S. State Department released a statement about the fluid situation on Friday morning, saying:
“We are aware that two U.S. citizens were killed in the attack. We are working with local authorities to determine if other U.S. citizens were injured in the event. We strongly urge U.S. citizens in Nice to be in direct contact with your family members in the United States and elsewhere to advise them of your safety.”
And while the officials themselves wouldn’t name the two Americans killed, family members confirmed to ABC that they are Sean Copeland and his 11-year-old son Brodie, Texas natives visiting the area on a vacation.
After visiting victims in the hospital, French President Hollande said on Friday that in addition to those already passed, dozens more are “between life and death.”
The French Ministry of Health is currently reporting that 202 people were admitted to hospitals for injuries sustained in the attack, 52 of which are in critical condition and 25 of which are in intensive care.
Hollande, who extended his country’s state of emergency for another three months and said he was mobilizing reservists in the military, added in his statement to the media:
“France is horrified by what has just occurred — a monstrous act of using a truck to intentionally kill dozens of people celebrating 14th of July. France is strong. France will always be stronger than the fanatics who want to strike France today.”
Officials say it still doesn’t appear anyone has taken responsibility for the attacks, even as Paris’ anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office has been put in charge of the investigation.
Still such a sad, sad day as far too many people senselessly lost their lives.
[Image via Twitter.]