Parents, Cal State Long Beach community remember student killed in Paris attacks

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
Family of American Student Killed in Paris Speaks Out

(KTLA) -- A Cal State Long Beach student was among at least 129 people killed during a series of deadly attacks in Paris, her parents and the university confirmed Saturday.

Nohemi Gonzalez, of El Monte, was a design student attending a semester abroad program at Strate College of Design in France when the attacks broke out on Friday, according to a news release from the Long Beach school.

SEE ALSO: Paris attacks generate 4M 'Safety Check'-ins on Facebook

"I feel lost, sadness," Beatrez Gonzalez told KTLA. "(She) was my only daughter."

Nohemi Gonzalez was at a Paris restaurant when she was fatally shot, according to her stepfather, Jose Hernandez.

"We were told that she didn't make it," he said in an interview. "We don't know if she died instantly or if she suffered or how did it happen."

Studying in the City of Light was one of Gonzalez's many dreams, Hernandez said.

Her mother added that the 23-year-old was "very strong, very committed to whatever she decided to do."

Jane Close Conoley, president of Cal State Long Beach, said she was "deeply saddened. ... Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends during this sad time."

Although the campus initially said Gonzalez was a 20-year-old junior, an updated news release stated she was 23-year-old senior. A picture of her posted on the French school's Facebook showed Gonzalez celebrated her birthday last month.

"Hier, avec une violence inouïe, des femmes et des hommes sont morts, morts de vivre simplement dans un espace libre. D'...

Posted by Strate - Ecole de Design on Saturday, November 14, 2015

After news of Gonzalez's death spread, multiple political figures -- including Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Attorney General Kamala Harris and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia -- gave their condolences to her family.

"The entire Long Beach community mourns the loss of Nohemi Gonzalez. Prayers for her family, friends, and her @CSULB family," Garcia tweeted. "We will ensure that her memory is honored and that her family has our full support."

At a news conference held by university officials near the school's student union building, Professor Michael LaForte remembered Gonzalez as someone who "functioned like a bit of a mentor to younger students."

The Long Beach campus planned to hold a vigil at 4 p.m. on Sunday to mourn the death of Gonzalez, and other victims of the "atrocious attack," the news release stated.

See memorials for the victims of the terror attack:

18 PHOTOS
Paris terror attack memorials, aftermath, world reaction
See Gallery
Parents, Cal State Long Beach community remember student killed in Paris attacks
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 27: President of France Francois Hollande attends The National Tribute to The Victims of The Paris Terrorist Attacks at Les Invalides on November 27, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 15: People gather and sing songs at Place de la Republique on November 15, 2015 in Paris, France. As France observes three days of national mourning members of the public continue to pay tribute to the victims of Friday's deadly attacks. A special service for the families of the victims and survivors is to be held at Paris's Notre Dame Cathedral. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 15: Members of the public gather to lay flowers and light candles at La Belle Equipe restaraunt on Rue de Charonne following Fridays terrorist attack on November 15, 2015 in Paris, France. As France observes three days of national mourning members of the public continue to pay tribute to the victims of Friday's deadly attacks. A special service for the families of the victims and survivors is to be held at Paris's Notre Dame Cathedral later on Sunday. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 14: People finish arranging candles into the word 'Paris' next to flowers and messages left at the gate of the French Embassy following the recent terror attacks in Paris on November 14, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. Hundreds of people came throughout the day to lay flowers, candles and messages of condolence to mourn the victims of attacks last night in Paris that left at least 120 people dead across the French capital. The Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for the attacks that were carried out by at least eight terrorists.. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 14: Bono and band members from the band U2 place flowers on the pavement near the scene of yesterday's Bataclan Theatre terrorist attack on November 14, 2015 in Paris, France. At least 120 people have been killed and over 200 injured, 80 of which seriously, following a series of terrorist attacks in the French capital. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 14: A woman cries near Le Petit Cambodge restaurant, the day after a deadly attack on November 14, 2015 in Paris, France. At least 120 people have been killed and over 200 injured, 80 of which seriously, following a series of terrorist attacks in the French capital. (Photo by Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 14: People arrive to lay candles and flowers at the gate of the French Embassy as the Brandenburg Gate stands behind illuminated in the colors of the French flag following the recent terror attacks in Paris on November 14, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. Hundreds of people came throughout the day to lay flowers, candles and messages of condolence to mourn the victims of attacks last night in Paris that left at least 120 people dead across the French capital. The Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for the attacks that were carried out by at least eight terrorists. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - NOVEMBER 15: Ultra Orthodox Jewish men pass as Jerusalem's Old City wall is illuminated with the colours of the French national flag to show solidarity for the victims of the Paris attacks on November 15, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. At least 129 people have been killed and over 300 are injured in Paris following a series of terrorist acts in the French capital on Friday. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 14: A woman cries outside of the Consulate General of France in New York the day after an attack on civilians in Paris on November 14, 2015 in New York City. At least 100 people were killed in a popular Paris concert hall, one of at least 6 terror attacks in the French capital. The French president Francois Hollande closed French borders following the attacks. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
French soldiers patrol the area at the foot of the Eiffel Tower in Paris on November 14, 2015 following a series of coordinated attacks in and around Paris late Friday which left more than 120 people dead. French President Francois Hollande blamed the Islamic State group for the attacks in Paris that left at least 128 dead, calling them an 'act of war'. The multiple attacks across the city late Friday were 'an act of war... committed by a terrorist army, the Islamic State, against France, against... what we are, a free country,' Hollande said. AFP PHOTO / FRANCOIS GUILLOT (Photo credit should read FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 15: A rose is placed beside a bullet hole at La Belle Equipe restaraunt on Rue de Charonne following Fridays terrorist attack on November 15, 2015 in Paris, France. As France observes three days of national mourning members of the public continue to pay tribute to the victims of Friday's deadly attacks. A special service for the families of the victims and survivors is to be held at Paris's Notre Dame Cathedral later on Sunday.(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 14: Pedestrians walk in front of the Sydney Opera House as its sails are illuminated in the colours of the French flag on November 14, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. At least 120 people have been killed and over 200 are injured in Paris following a series of terrorist acts in the French capital on Friday. (Photo by Daniel Munoz/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 14: A woman with a French flag painted in her face cries during a vigil for victims of the Paris terror attacks at Martin Place on November 14, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. At least 120 people have been killed and over 200 injured, 80 of which seriously, following a series of terrorist attacks in the French capital. (Photo by Daniel Munoz/Getty Images)
SHANGHAI, CHINA - NOVEMBER 14: Benjamin Hebert of France with a message for Paris on his golf cap during the third round of the BMW Masters at Lake Malaren Golf Club on November 14, 2015 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
People lay flowers and light candles in front of French Embassy in Warsaw on November 14, 2015 following a series of terror attacks in the French city of Paris and its surroundings that has left at least 120 people dead and some 200 wounded. AFP PHOTO / JANEK SKARZYNSKI (Photo credit should read JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 14: A man hold a French flag and a sign during a vigil for victims of the Paris terror attacks at Martin Place on November 14, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. At least 120 people have been killed and over 200 injured, 80 of which seriously, following a series of terrorist attacks in the French capital. (Photo by Daniel Munoz/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 14: A man reads a French newspaper after a terrorist attack on November 14, 2015 in Paris, France. At least 120 people have been killed and over 200 injured, 80 of which seriously, following a series of terrorist attacks in the French capital. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION

"Our university stands with our nearly eighty foreign exchange students from France as they struggle with this tragedy. We will extend all support necessary to comfort them. We will also extend support to all students, faculty and staff who are in need," Conoley said.

Gonzalez was one of 17 Cal State Long Beach students who were studying in Paris at the time of the attacks, the university president said at the news conference.

School officials confirmed that the 16 other students were safe, Conoley said.

"I feel like it could have happened to any of us," Cal State Long Beach student Nhi Nguyen said in an interview at the campus. "That could have been my friend. That could have been me.

"Even if we didn't know who she was, that's someone from our school," Nguyen continued. "So that means it's very close to our hearts."

More from AOL.com:
US death penalties, executions slow as capital punishment is squeezed
Madonna makes an emotional speech on Paris attacks
France names first attacker, vows to destroy ISIS

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners