UPDATED: One Canadian killed, 4 injured in Barcelona attack

Canadians in Spain are advised to stay away from the Las Ramblas tourist area

The father of a Vancouver police officer has been confirmed as the Canadian victim killed Thursday when a van plowed into crowds of tourists on a popular street in Barcelona,.

In a statement, VPD staff sergeant Fiona Wilson said her father, Ian Moore Wilson was a “compassionate, generous, adventurous, and always game for a lively debate, a good book, exploring new places, and a proper-sized pint.”

She said that in the midst of this tragedy, her dad would want the focus to be on extraordinary acts of human kindness his family had experiences during the past several days, including “unwavering love” from fellow officers, a man named Albert who rushed family members to the hospital following the attack and the people who assisted Ian in his final moments.

“My dad’s passing leaves an immense void in our tight-knit family. He was desperately loved by us all and will be dearly missed,” she said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed Friday that four other Canadians were injured in the attack, and offered his condolences to the family members and friends of those injured.

“We join Spain and countries around the world in grieving the senseless loss of so many innocent people,” he said in a statement.

“We must stand firm against the spread of hate and intolerance in all its forms. These violent acts that seek to divide us will only strengthen our resolve.”

The identity of the person killed was not immediately released, nor were any details about those who were injured or their current condition. Canadian officials say they are in touch with the affected families.

READ MORE: ISIS takes responsibility for Barcelona terror attack

READ MORE: B.C. family OK after terror attack in Barcelona

In total, 13 people were killed in Barcelona, while another died in a separate attack in the nearby resort town of Cambrils. As many as 100 were injured.

Spanish authorities said citizens from 34 different countries were among the dead and injured.

Canadian officials were still advising Canadians in Barcelona to avoid the Las Ramblas area and follow directions from local authorities.

Allan Gray was in a Barcelona restaurant with his family for barely a minute when they heard a loud crash and saw crowds of panicked people rushing to the back of the building.

Amid the commotion, the Mississauga, Ont., man ran with his wife and two daughters into an adjoining hotel where they huddled on an upper floor for the next five hours, flinching at the sound of gunshots and wondering whether movements in the stairwells were people trying to find safety or a potential terrorist about to launch another attack.

The Canadian family was among dozens who took cover in buildings along Barcelona’s popular Las Ramblas strip when the van came careening into a crowd on the promenade.

Gray, 50, said that the scariest part of the entire ordeal was not knowing what was going on.

“Everybody was panicking … we just didn’t know what was going to happen,” Gray told The Canadian Press in an interview Friday. “Every little movement, every little bang was just horrific”

People weren’t sure whether gunshots heard were coming inside the building, and were terrified that there might be a shooter in the hotel, Gray said.

His daughter, Daniela Gray, said that she was preparing for the worst

“For many hours we were terrified that there was someone inside or that there was going to be an explosion of some sort,” the 24-year-old said.

As the hours passed, the Gray family learned more about what was actually happening through social media.

At one point, Allan Gray said he looked outside the hotel’s window to see what was going on and got a view of the aftermath of the attack.

“There was a woman on the ground that was hurt, another person’s legs not moving, and a little boy who was lifeless on the ground,” he said. “It was horrific.”

The family of four took shelter in the hotel until a police officer escorted them out of the area to safety.

Gray said they’re still reeling from the events a day after the attack, and described an empty feeling to Barcelona’s previously jubilant streets.

“The party’s basically been shut down,” he said. “It just seemed quiet out there and in a sombre mood.”

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said Friday Canadian authorities always step up vigilance at home when an attack like this happens elsewhere.

“When an event like this occurs extra special attention is focused on it so Canadians can be assured that their police and their security services are taking every necessary step to keep Canadians safe,” he said, during an event in Regina.

Spanish authorities said the back-to-back vehicle attacks — as well as an explosion earlier this week in a house elsewhere in Catalonia — were related and the work of a large terrorist group.

— with files from the Associated Press

Mia Rabson and Salmaan Farooqui, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Just Posted

Coronation RCMP investigate hit and run with pedestrian

Truck strikes man clearing snow in Castor, motorist flees scene

RCMP chase suspect through Breton, Rimbey areas

Drayton Valley RCMP lay charges following pursuit of stolen vehicle Feb. 16

Alberta Fish and Wildlife Officers ask for the public’s help with unsolved poaching cases

Officers are seeking tips on five separate incidents in the Stettler & Camrose areas in November 2017

Stettler Hospital to host a pregnancy nutrition class later this month

Registered Dieticians will discuss strategies and tips for new and expecting mothers

Stettler Town Council lays out 2018 Strategic Plan

Five priorities identified for the Town to tackle this year

WATCH: Red Deer celebrates one year out from 2019 Canada Games

Community gathers at Great Chief Park to commemorate Games milestone

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Widow of avalanche victim sues Golden lodge operator

A woman from Alberta is suing guides, their mountain guide association and the lodge operator for negligence

Patrick Brown’s Tory leadership bid fate looms

Brown’s bid to for Tory leadership to be decided on Wednesday

Yelling vulgar slur at reporter not a crime says judge

Judge rules ‘vulgar’ slur against reporter was not a public disturbance

Students head to Florida capital to press for gun law change

Young protestors are joining a grassroots movement against gun violence in the wake of last week’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida

Liberals look at use-it-or-lose-it parental leave for dads

Liberals looking at creating a use-it-or-lose-it leave for fathers, Trudeau says

Fred Rogers, America’s favourite neighbour, celebrated in 2018

The golden anniversary of America’s favorite neighbor is being celebrated with a PBS special next month

Toddler breaks leg after boot sucked into escalator at Vancouver airport

A Calgary woman is reminding parents of the dangers of escalators after her toddler’s foot was stuck in one and he broke his leg

Most Read


Weekly delivery plus unlimited digital access for $50.40 for 52 issues (must live within 95 kilometers of Stettler) Unlimited Digital Access for one year for $50.40 Prefer to have us call you? Click here and we’ll get back to you within one business day.