LOS FELIZ (CBSLA.com) — Crowds gathered at a French restaurant in Los Feliz Wednesday night in an expression of solidarity after a deadly attack in Paris claimed 12 lives.
The gathering at Figaro Café on N. Vermont Avenue started with a group of French students from a language academy in Redondo Beach but grew to hundreds of people who poured out onto the streets and carried signs that read “Je Suis Charlie” or “I am Charlie.”
The students told KCAL9’s Juan Fernandez they were bombarded with word of the terrorist attack at Charlie Hebdo, a weekly satirical newspaper, when they awoke. They said they received emails, texts, and Facebook posts from loved ones back home.
“We heard this morning about the story. I think it’s crazy. Like, when I woke up this morning, I got like thousands of messages from my friends,” Corentin Aussems, a French citizen, said.
The brazen late-morning attack at the newspaper filled the streets of Paris with the sound of gunfire. In all, a dozen people died, including some of the most famous names in French publishing.
One of three suspects wanted in connection with the attack has reportedly turned himself in, according to French publications, but the manhunt continues for two more, identified as Said and Cherif Kouachi, who are brothers. Cherif served time in prison after he was convicted on terrorism charges in 2008.
According to KCAL9’s Dave Bryan, the deadly attack may have been prompted by ridicule of the Prophet Muhammad.
Meanwhile, cartoonists from around the world reacted, including The Los Angeles Times’ Ted Rall, who called the victims “Martyrs for Free Speech.”
Rall posted a cartoon declaring a cartoonist should not have to look over his shoulder while doing his work. In a companion Op-Ed piece, he wrote: “Cartoons are incredibly powerful … Political cartooning may not pay well, or often at all, and media elites can ignore it all they want … But it matters. Almost enough to die for.”