NICE, FRANCE - The state department just confirmed a father and son from Austin, Texas are among those killed in Nice while they were vacationing in France.
Sean Copeland, 51, and Brodi, 11, and 10 children are among the 84 people killed Thursday when a terrorist drove a heavily armed truck into a crowd gathered along a packed promenade in Nice, where thousands of French revelers had gathered to watch fireworks and celebrate Bastille Day.
The driver, identified in multiple reports as a Tunisian national, left a mile-long swath of carnage along the seaside walkway before police killed him in a shootout. French authorities did not hestitate to pronouce the attack, which begand at 10:40 p.m. local time, an act of terrorism.
"Such a monstrosity," French President Francois Hollande said Friday monnring. "France is deeply saddened, but it is also very strong. I can assure you we will always be stronger than the fanatics who are trying to attack us."
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but two sources, including a U.S. counterterrorism source who collects and monitors jihadist social media, told Fox News that accounts linked to ISIS were “celebratory” and their followers were told to use the hashtag “Nice.”
“By now many of you have heard about the 80 people that have died in Nice, France today from a terrorist attack driving through a parade," Haley Copeland posted on Facebook early Friday. "[Two] were American and those 2 people happen to be uncle Sean and 11 year old cousin Brodie.”
"Nobody deserves this type of fate, especially not such a wonderful family," a memorial passage stated. "You are in our hearts, thoughts, and prayers. Rest in peace, Brodie and Sean, you will be remembered by many."
Initial reports said the man was driving a truck loaded with guns and hand grenades. However, a security source told Agence France-Presse (AFP) that an “inactive” grenade was found as well as “several fake rifles.”
July 14 is a national holiday in France that commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison in Paris and the start of the French Revolution.