NEWS

Canadian Barcelona Attack Victim Identified As Ian Moore Wilson

A Vancouver police officer confirms her father was killed in the attack.

08/18/2017 09:36 EDT | Updated 08/18/2017 23:15 EDT

OTTAWA — A Canadian killed in a terrorist attack on a popular street in Barcelona was described by his family as a man who enjoyed lively debate and travelling.

Ian Moore Wilson was the father of a Vancouver police officer.

Vancouver police issued a statement from the officer's family saying Wilson was killed when a van plowed into crowds of tourists on Thursday.

Fiona Wilson via Vancouver Police Department
Canadian Ian Moore Wilson was killed in Barcelona after a van plowed into a a busy street on Aug. 17, 2017.

Wilson is described as a loving husband to his wife Valerie Wilson of 53 years, a father, brother and grandfather who was "always game for a lively debate, a good book exploring new places, and a proper-sized pint.''

The family says they intend on focusing on "the extraordinary acts of human kindness'' they've experienced despite the tragedy because that's what Wilson would have wanted.

They say they've received support from Vancouver police, the RCMP, airlines and emergency responders in Spain who helped Wilson in his final moments and provided urgent medical care to Valerie Wilson.

"These are the things we will choose to focus on when we endeavour to come to terms with the senseless violence and acts of hatred that have taken loved ones before their time,'' the statement said.

The family has asked that their privacy be respected.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday that in addition to the Canadian who was killed, four other Canadians were injured in the terrorist attack.

"It was with great sadness that I learned today that one Canadian was killed and four others injured during (Thursday's) cowardly terrorist attack in Barcelona,'' Trudeau said in a statement.

"Sophie and I offer our condolences to the families and friends in mourning, and hope for a speedy recovery for the injured Canadians.

"We join Spain and countries around the world in grieving the senseless loss of so many innocent people. 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.''

AFP/Getty Images
A woman writes a message against the attacks and for the victims of the attack in Barcelona on Las Ramblas boulevard in Barcelona as people pay tribute to the victims of the Barcelona attack, a day after a van ploughed into the crowd, killing 14 persons and injuring over 100 on Aug. 18, 2017.

The details about those who were injured or their current condition has not been released. Canadian officials say they are in touch with the affected families.

In total 13 people were killed in Barcelona and another in a separate attack in the resort town of Cambrils south of Barcelona. As many as 100 were injured.

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

Back-to-back vehicle attacks

Canadian officials Friday still advised Canadians in Barcelona to avoid the Las Ramblas area, where Thursday's attack occurred, and follow directions from local authorities.

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.

Anca Gurzu, a Canadian from Ottawa, was in a nearby neighbourhood when the Barcelona attack took place, but only realized what was going on after receiving a frantic call from a friend.

Carl Court via Getty Images
People gather around tributes laid on Las Ramblas near to the scene of yesterday's terrorist attack, on Aug. 18, 2017.

"(The police) were just everywhere, they were walking with their guns, and it was a bit surreal,'' said Gurzu, who went to the scene of the attack about two hours after it took place to see what was going on.

She said the residents of Barcelona remained "defiant'' in the face of the violence, and that thousands of mourners gathered in the city's main square on Friday to observe a minute of silence and march through the city's streets.

People laid candles on the street beside bloodstains on the pavement where victims had been hit, she said.

The crowds chanted "I am not afraid! I am not afraid!'' as they marched through the streets.

Outside the main strip where the attacks occurred, Gurzu said the city's residents are making an effort to try and go about their lives normally.

"People are trying to just move on.''

—with files from Linda Givetash, Mia Rabson and the Associated Press