“If we had
wanted to touch a symbol, we couldn't find better.
Simone was very religious and she was sunny, she embodied the joy of living. ”
The day after the attack on Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption basilica in Nice, testimonies on the three victims brutally killed in this church began to flow, such as this one which describes the 44-year-old Brazilian woman , Simone Barreto Silva, who died in the attack.
It comes from Nathalie Moya, who coordinates, within the Nice association Forum Jorge-François, a project to support women, “Stars and women”, towards the profession of chef.
Two years ago, Simone took advantage of this program and obtained her CAP.
"She wanted to set up her restaurant"
, says Nathalie Moya, who remembers a person
“who loved everyone, always laughing and dancing, hugging people and giving them hugs”
44-year-old Brazilian Simone Barreto Silva lived in Nice with her three children.
SIMONE BARRETO SILVA / via REUTERS
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This single mother, a former samba dancer, lived in the working-class district of Gambetta, in Nice.
In the small cul-de-sac where she lived with her three children, on the first floor of a modest building, the scaly water-green shutters were closed on Friday.
In the evening, after the identification of the victim, the police came in search of the family, say the neighbors.
One of Simone's sisters took care of the deceased's children.
"I ran into her yesterday morning, she told me she was going to go to church before going to work,"
says Luis, who runs a small Cape Verdean restaurant on the ground floor of the house. with his wife, Angela Tavarès.
She has a hard time drying her tears.
“Simone was an extraordinary woman, always smiling, she spoke well to everyone.
She often came to eat with us with her family.
Sometimes she would walk past the restaurant and say, “The neighbor, are you okay?
The neighbor, I am going to pick up my children from school. ”
She liked picanhas, a Brazilian specialty.
The other day, we put on the music and we danced, ”she
Simone died, according to Jean-François Ricard, the prosecutor of the national anti-terrorism prosecution,
"as a result of the multiple wounds caused by stabbing"
She had time to flee after the assault, said the magistrate, and to take refuge, unfortunately before dying there, at L'Unik, a halal pizzeria adjoining the basilica.
In front of this establishment, on Friday, only a bouquet of chrysanthemums and a few white roses recalled these tragic moments.
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Vincent Loquès would have been 55 years old on Friday.
The treasurer of the basilica, Jean-François Gourdon, for his part evokes the memory of Vincent Loquès, the sacristan of the church.
“I lost my best friend.
Every morning we had coffee together, every day we were there.
He had been sacristan for twenty-five years and for six or seven years he had been here at Notre-Dame, ”he
says from the steps of the building.
He still unfolds the film of this early morning, the opening, like every day, of the "disabled" doors, then that of the sacristy, and finally,
"sharp at 8:30"
, like every day, of the gates. overlooking the large front door.
“But at that time, we didn't see anyone come in.
We talked for another 15 to 20 minutes and I left.
When I got to the end of the street, I heard that something was going on, I came back, but it was already cordoned off by the police, ”he
Jean-Louis Giordan, the former parish priest, remembers a
“brave boy full of dynamism”
According to him, Vincent Loquès, who should have been 55 years old this Friday,
"must have been attacked from behind, because otherwise he would have defended himself, he feared nothing,"
says Father Gourdon, now an auxiliary priest, at the retreat, from Saint-Marc church, in Nice.
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Divorced and then again as a couple, father of two daughters, one a nurse and the other a childcare worker, Vincent was a figure in the neighborhood, as recounted by Ludovic Balade, a neighbor who often met the sacristan.
"Every morning I saw him having his little coffee on the terrace, he always had a smile, he was always there for others, he helped people.
Sometimes the homeless would come to the steps and he would gently tell them “go away”, because it is a place of worship, it must be respected, ”he
"This is what must be kept from this person, that he was always there for his neighborhood and his basilica," he
adds after having placed in his memory a small bouquet of white roses on the porch. of the building.
The anti-terrorist prosecution specified that Vincent Loquès, when his body was discovered,
"had a major wound in his throat"
As is the third victim, a 60-year-old woman whose identity has not been revealed to date.
Found near the entrance to the basilica, it
"had a very deep throat cut, on the order of beheading"
, said the prosecution.
In the parish, some fear that this woman could be homeless who came to the basilica every day when the doors opened.