A person familiar with the basilica told the French daily Le Parisien: "He's not just a sacristan. He helped a lot the priest who was old. … He was the handyman. The candles were always well lit … He was very discreet and very efficient. He didn't speak much. He acted with great humility and respect. He is the first person we thought of when we learned of the attack,"
"He was an ordinary man, in the good sense of the word: nice, open," Fr. Gil Florini, parish priest of Saint-Pierre-d'Arène-de-Nice church, told Le Figaro.
Nadine Devillers, a wife and friend:
A woman, reported by a French prosecutor to be 60 years old, who came to pray at the basilica on the morning of Oct. 29.
Le Figaro reported that she was found dead with her throat cut, "nearly beheaded," near the holy water font inside of the basilica.
National Antiterrorist Prosecutor Jean-François Ricard said she died by "a very deep throat of the order of a decapitation."
A friend of 30 years, Joëlle Guichard, told regional French newspaper Nice-Matin that Nadine lived near the basilica and would often stop there to pray and light candles for her loved ones.
She was married to her husband for 26 years. According to Nadine's friends, despite personal difficulties, including financial, "she gave everything for others."
"She was smiling, outgoing, always making sure everything was going well for others. Despite her modest conditions, she remained dignified and let nothing show of her personal problems," Salvatore Gabriele, another friend of Nadine, told the newspaper.
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In addition to those killed in the attack, police report that others were injured in the basilica.
Police arrest perpetrator:
French police say they arrested the perpetrator, who has been identified as Brahim Aouissaoui, 21, who reportedly arrived in late September, first at the Italian island of Lampedusa, and then traveling to France. Aouissaoui is reported to have been taken to the hospital by police with a gunshot wound.
Courtney Mares is a Rome Correspondent for Catholic News Agency. A graduate of Harvard University, she has reported from news bureaus on three continents and was awarded the Gardner Fellowship for her work with North Korean refugees.