Seattle’s French community holds vigil for those killed in attack in Paris
SEATTLE — In front of the French Consulate on Seattle’s downtown waterfront Wednesday night, a community was in mourning and emotions were raw.
“There was shock, and it was sadness, and it was anger,” French expatriate Veronique Savoye said.
About 100 people gathered to express concern and condolences after 12 people were killed in a Paris terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo, a satirical Paris magazine that had caricatured the Prophet Muhammad.
French police said one suspect in the attack surrendered late Wednesday night, but two others were still on the loose.
In Seattle, Savoye said she moved from Paris 19 years ago. She is a U.S. citizen but her heart and some family members are still in France.
"They always attack civilians and it's very sad that they attack people who were using pencils with automatic weapons. Everybody was very touched, very shocked by what happened today and I think it's important to stand up and say it's not OK,” Savoye said.
"It's uh ... it's hard to believe it's true. It's so disconnected to ... you live here and it's so brutal,” French expat Olivier Fontana said.
Most here got the bad news first thing Wednesday morning -- 12 people dead, 11 others injured, four of them critical.
There were candles, flowers, flags and signs that read "Je Suis Charlie", or I am Charlie, a reference to the Charlie Hebdo magazine.
"Freedom is one of my core values and I think today freedom was really hurt and to me freedom is never above any religion and we shouldn't kill people for their ideas or their creativity,” French expat Nathalie Large-Ogier said.
"It was like a massacre. It's unacceptable. It was barbaric and I was really in shock when I learned the news this morning so I was glad that tonight we could gather and think about it all together,” Large-Ogier said.