NICE, France (KXAN) – A Lakeway father and son were among the 84 who died in the deadly attack on Nice during Bastille Day celebrations.
A family spokesperson released a statement saying 51-year-old Sean Copeland and 11-year-old Brodie Copeland were vacationing in France when they were killed. They were traveling with Copeland’s wife, Kim, Sean’s two other children, Austin, 22, and Maegan, 29. NBC News says the European trip was partially in celebration of Kim’s and Austin’s birthdays.
“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. They are so loved,” said the family in a statement released by a family friend.
Sean and Brodie, who had just finished fifth grade at Lakeway Elementary, were killed when a truck loaded with weapons and hand grenades drove onto a sidewalk for more than a mile. The driver plowed through Bastille Day revelers who gathered to watch fireworks in Nice late Thursday in what some officials and eyewitnesses called a deliberate attack.
“It was a devastating feel, it took me a while to sink in. I called some people to confirm to make sure what I had read had actually happened,” said family friend Jason Dixon. “Every time we were around, [Brodie’s] attitude and personality were infectious and it rolled off on me as an adult and obviously the kids, but he was a natural at youth sports.”
According to Sean’s LinkedIn profile, he was employed with Lexmark as the VP of North and South America – Kapow Software Division, focused on sales.
“Sean was not only a terrific leader in the company but a phenomenal person who will be dearly missed,” said Jerry Grasso, a spokesperson for Lexmark, in a statement to KXAN News. “Our hearts go out to Sean and his family, and for everyone who is suffering in France and elsewhere from this senseless violent act.”
“We are heartbroken and in shock”-Copeland Family Friend
A message sent out by the Lake Travis ISD superintendent said Brodie was “a wonderful student beloved by all.” Brodie was a member of the honor choir and was involved in sports. Hill County Baseball posted on Facebook sharing their condolences for the passing of Sean and Brodie. “Nobody deserves this type of fate, especially not such a wonderful family,” states the post.
Troy Copeland, Sean’s brother, says he and his other brother will fly to Nice with the State Department to pick up the family and bring everyone home over the weekend.