NICE, France — The Copeland family vacation started in Pamplona, Spain, moved to Barcelona and ended tragically as the Bastille Day fireworks faded over Nice, France.
Sean Copeland, 51, and his 11-year-old son Brodie were among the more than 80 people killed Thursday when a truck zig-zaged through a screaming crowd for more than a mile along the Promenade Des Anglais, a family representative told CNN affiliate KEYE.
They had traveled there from the Austin, Texas, area with Copeland’s wife and two other children to celebrate a relative’s birthday, CNN affiliate KXAN reported. Copeland’s wife, Kim, posted a photo of her husband and son on Facebook.
More than 5,000 miles from the massacre, Hill Country Baseball posted a photo of Brodie — “our very own” — with waves splashing over his back on the rocky shore of the French Riviera.
“Nobody deserves this type of fate, especially not such a wonderful family,” the post said.
Sean Copeland coached youth baseball, and Brodie played in the league, according to the Austin American-Statesman.
In a Twitter post from a family member, Copeland poses on a ball field with Brodie, who is holding a trophy.
At least two children were killed and dozens hospitalized. The attack happened on a night when the seaside promenade was teeming with families and young people. Dolls and toys were strewn about the scene of the attack, according to images posted on social media.
“We are heartbroken and in shock over the loss of Brodie Copeland, an amazing son and brother who lit up our lives, and Sean Copeland, a wonderful husband and father,” the family said in a statement, according to CNN affiliates. “They are so loved.”
Sean Copeland was vice president at Lexmark’s Kapow Software Division.
“It took … awhile to sink in,” said family friend Jason Dixon, according to KXAN. Brodie’s “attitude and personality were infectious,” he added.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of people were out in the streets, celebrating Bastille Day with fireworks and a beachfront concert.
After the last firework fizzled, an apparent lone driver in a large white truck first opened fire into the crowd before plowing through horrified tourists and residents along one of the city’s main thoroughfares.
Although the road was cordoned off, the man drove for more than a mile along the crowded waterfront before police shot him.
The dead included several children.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.