Spain terror attack victims include parents, vacationers; Australian boy, 7, missing

BARCELONA — One of the dead was a 35-year-old IT salesman from Italy on vacation with his partner and two children. Another was a Spanish grandfather enjoying the sunny day. And among the missing is a 7-year-old Australian boy in Barcelona with his mother for a wedding.

Those affected by the deadly terrorist attack Thursday came from dozens of countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas to spend time in 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 has not named 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.

Here is a look at some of the victims:

Bruno Gulotta, Italy

Gulotta, who worked at the Italian branch of Tom's Hardware, 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."

His colleagues learned late Thursday that the 35-year-old 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.

Luca Russo, Italy

Russo, who hailed from the northern Dolomites region, was on vacation with his girlfriend in Barcelona when he was struck by the van and killed, according to the Italian government. His girlfriend was injured. 

Russo, 25, had recently graduated with an engineering degree and had just started working for a refrigeration company, according to his sister, Chiara Russo.

On her Facebook page, she posted pictures of her brother — one in which he looks well, and another, where he lies wounded on a Barcelona street. "Help me to bring him home, I beg you," she wrote.

Elke Vanbockrijck, Belgium

In the Belgian town of Tongeren, residents mourned Elke Vanbockrijck. She was on vacation with her husband and two sons when she was mowed down by the van, according to Tongeren Vandaag nieuws, a local news website.

The town has created a "memorial book" to honor an Vanbockrijck, who worked at a local bank, loved football and "was a lot of fun," according to the newspaper.

Francisco Lopez Rodriguez, Spain

In the small town of Lanteira in southern Spain, residents mourned Francisco López Rodríguez, 60, who hailed from the town before moving to Barcelona. The attack killed him and severely injured his wife, according to the mayor's office.

Other victims and missing 

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.

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.

"As supervisors, we're taking the necessary steps to set everything in motion," Pastor Thomas Levin told the Rheinische Post. "It's hard to tell from here how they are doing."

Meanwhile, family members have reported 7-year-old British-born Julian Cadman as missing and are frantic to find him.

The boy's mother, Jumarie "Jom" Cadman, is currently in a coma, but in stable condition, family members reported on Facebook.

The boy had moved to Sydney, Australia, with his family three years ago, and his father, Andrew Cadman, had spoken to his son only hours before the attack. One of Cadman's co-workers told Sydney’s 2GB Radio he was on his way to Barcelona to search for Julian.

Family members made heartfelt appeals on social media to enlist others in the search.

"My cousin, Julian Alessandro Cadman is missing. Please like and share. We have found Jom (his Mum, my cousin-in-law) and she is in a serious but stable condition in hospital," George Cadman, the boy's cousin, wrote on Facebook.

"Julian's a really sweet boy. He loves to dance. He's a lovely, bubbly boy," his mother's niece said.

Bhatti reported from Paris, Davis from Berlin.

Contributing: Associated Press

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment