BARCELONA — One of the dead was a 35-year-old IT salesman from Italy on vacation with his partner and two children. A 7-year-old Australian boy, Julian Cadman, in Barcelona with his mother for a wedding is missing.
The dead, the missing and the injured from the deadly terrorist attack Thursday came from countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas to converge on Las Ramblas, one of the most joyous, vibrant streets in Europe, only to be mowed down by a white van.
The U.S. State Department said Friday that one American was among the dead but did not name the victim. At least 14 people are dead and more than 100 are injured. Authorities expect that toll to rise over the next few days .
On Friday, more details emerged of those killed. Among them was Bruno Gulotta, 35, who had posted pictures on his Facebook page of a stroll down Las Ramblas.
"He was on vacation with his partner and two children," wrote colleague Roberto Buonanno in a mournful tribute on the company's website following the terror attack.
"He had posted on Facebook often as his trip progressed, and everything was as one would expect from a vacation trip – a photo from Cannes, one of Las Ramblas in Barcelona. And then came what no one expects: the death of a young man, a father, a life partner, on vacation."
Gulotta worked at the Italian branch of Tom's Hardware. His colleagues learned late Thursday that the sales manager at the IT hardware company was among the dead.
"We spent the night trying to stay sane, communicating with close friends and acquaintances about the news, with everybody wondering if it was some kind of macabre joke," Buonanno added in an interview from his base in Legnano near Milan. "We are sad, surprised and frustrated."
Gulotta was a point of reference, a rock, for all those who knew him, said Buonanno, who had worked with him for seven years. He described his colleague as kind, generous, a perfectionist and a problem-solver with "an insatiable hunger for knowledge" and a love of books.
"I do not know how I will endure looking at his workstation with him not at it," he said.
In the small town of Lanteira in southern Spain, residents mourned with Francisco López Rodríguez, 60, who hailed from the town before moving to Barcelona. The attack killed his niece and her child, and severely injured his wife, according to the mayor's office.
About 100 miles away, the village of Llimiana was devastated by the loss of one of its younger residents – the child, yet unnamed, was walking with his mother, aunt and older sister when the van came out of nowhere, according to the mayor's office. His aunt, who had tried to push him out of the way, remains in the hospital with severe injuries.
In Germany, three people were reported to have died in the attacks, according to ZDF broadcaster. That number was not confirmed by German officials.
Meanwhile, family members of the injured were frantically trying to get to Spain. In Germany, which has 13 of its nationals among the injured, Pastor Thomas Levin told Rheinische Post daily that his church was working hard to ensure that the youngest members of their flock would make it home to Germany quickly.
He was referring to three teenagers, one 14 and two 17, from Oberhausen in western Germany, who were spending part of their summer vacation on a church-organized camping trip just outside of Barcelona. On Thursday, the girls traveled to Barcelona for a quick sightseeing trip. Both were critically injured in the attack, but their conditions have since stabilized, Levin told the newspaper.
In Barcelona, many came to pay tribute to the victims, with flowers, candles and a moment of silence – regardless of whether they personally knew them or not. Around the world, people who lost loved ones said they were just trying to cope with the loss of their friend, their colleague, their family member and get through the day.
"It is a tragedy that strikes us in so many aspects, each one more dramatic than the last," said Buonanno. "We identify ourselves with Martina, (Gulotta's) life partner, who will have to find the strength that no young mother should ever have to. We put ourselves in the shoes of little Alessandro, who is preparing to start elementary school with the awareness that his life and family will no longer be the same. And then we think of little Aria, who does not have those horrible scenes in her mind but who will never know her dad."
Bhatti reported from Paris, Davis from Berlin.