North Texas Daily

Former UNT exchange student, François Xavier Prévost, killed in Paris terror attacks

Former UNT exchange student, François Xavier Prévost, killed in Paris terror attacks

Former UNT exchange student, François Xavier Prévost, killed in Paris terror attacks
November 15
17:25 2015
[df-subtitle]Moment of silence held outside Marquis Hall[/df-subtitle]

Lisa Dreher | Staff Writer


UNT-International has reported that a former exchange student, François Xavier Prévost, 29, was among the 129 people killed in the Paris terror attacks on Friday. It was announced as the French military began bombing the Syrian town of Raqqa, where the Islamic State has claimed its capital.

The university said in a Facebook post that Prévost studied at UNT in 2007. Officials with UNT have not issued an official comment and Prévost’s academic status has not been confirmed.

One of his close friends from UNT, biochemistry major Jerome Tiambeng, remembered his kind personality and ability to easily make friends. They met through Jerome’s roommate while staying in College Inn, where many of the international students were.

“He knew people from all around the world, and they weren’t just casual acquaintances,” Tiambeng said. “He was always warm and welcoming, and loved his family and his girlfriend. I can’t really quantify how great of a person he was.”

On Friday night, Tiambeng was at his birthday party when he heard about the attacks. He watched Facebook as his friends from France confirmed they were safe through the site’s Safety Check, and assumed everyone was safe. The following day, he learned that Francois was killed.

“Part of me was hoping it was just some misinformation spread,” Tiambeng said. “It took me two days to even read about it because the details of it weren’t important to me, I just wanted my friend back.”

Prevost was among 89 people killed in the Bataclan. The French government has called the attacks an act of war. The terror group Islamic State has taken credit for the attacks, and French President Francois Hollande has blamed the group as well.
“It puts a face to the tragedy,” Tiambeng said. “Things like this happen all the time and it’s always tragic, but when you know someone who’s in it, it brings it closer to home.”

UNT held a moment of silence Monday for the victims of the Paris attacks at the Peace Pole between the general academic building and Marquis Hall. Students and staff gathered for about ten minutes today to pay their respects.

Finance junior Phillip Vaughn believes that the act of solidarity was needed.

“I applaud UNT’s administration for taking the time out of their day to organize this event,” he said.

The university offered its condolences upon being notified of Prévost’s death, joining students like Vaughn and others.
“It’s downright awful, we should not let these people win,” lingustics freshman Cody Barker said. “[It’s] depressing, knowing that it’s affected us here at UNT and Texas, it hurts us even more knowing we’ve lost a friend.”

During a concert by California group Eagles of Death Metal, gunmen opened fire and detonated explosives in the 1,500-seat hall.

The North Texas Daily is following this story. Updates will be posted when they are made available.

Photo | UNT-International Facebook Page

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