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American confirmed dead after Barcelona terrorist attack shatters honeymoon

The Washington Post logoThe Washington Post 8/19/2017 Lindsey Bever, Avi Selk
Family photo © Provided by WP Company LLC d/b/a The Washington Post Family photo

Jared Tucker had been married a year before the honeymoon, when he and his wife, Heidi Nunes-Tucker, left their home in the San Francisco Bay area and flew off to see the world.

The couple were both in their 40s, but they looked like giddy teenagers in their photos. Their first stops were Paris and Venice, NBC News reported.

Then they went to Barcelona, where on Thursday the Tuckers drank from glasses filled to the brim and joined other tourists on a crowded promenade in the Las Ramblas district. The sun shone down — and terror approached.

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“They were in a kiosk in the middle of the sidewalk in the middle of Las Ramblas,” Jared’s brother-in-law, Kalani Kalnui, told ABC News.

They shopped for trinkets there. Then Jared stepped away to find a bathroom.

“Next thing I know there’s screaming, yelling,” Heidi told NBC News. “I got pushed inside the souvenir kiosk and stayed there hiding while everybody kept running by screaming.”

On the street, a Fiat van was plowing past cafes and boutiques, straight into the crowd. The Islamic State later claimed responsibility for the attack.

More than 100 people from dozens of countries were injured on the promenade. Thirteen of them would die, including an Italian who threw himself in front of his young children to save their lives, and an American — Jared Tucker, 42, father of three.

“We love Jared, we love you, and we are grateful that in this time of turmoil in this world we can still band together in a time of need and support each other,” Tucker’s family wrote in a statement to The Washington Post, confirming his death.

“Pray for Jared and his family, pray for Barcelona, but most importantly pray that we can someday rid ourselves of the hate that takes our loved ones before their time.”

Tucker, from Lafayette, Calif., helped run the family business, resurfacing swimming pools, and eventually a schoolteacher came into his life.

“We Met September 15, 2012,” the couple wrote on a wedding website. “We Fell in Love November 22, 2012.”

Last summer, Tucker wore a flower in his lapel and walked Heidi up flower-lined steps as she smiled. They wed beside a beach in Northern California.

A year later, they parted for the smallest of reasons outside a jewelry stand in Barcelona, and never met again.

“I just ended up further and further away, without my husband,” Heidi told MSNBC early Friday, when she still held out hope her husband had survived.

She made her way back to promenade after the chaos settled, KTVU reported, but found no sign of him.

Tucker’s father saw something familiar, however, in one of the many horrific images of the attack.

“We saw a person on the ground, wearing the same color clothes,” Dan Tucker told KPIX 5. “He had some blood on the side of his head and on his arm, but there was a person kneeling with him, so we were encouraged to think it was an injury.”

But later on Friday, the father met reporters outside his door. Heidi was on her way to the morgue, he said, to identify her husband’s remains.

“His first time in Europe, and it was his honeymoon,” Dan Tucker said.

“What are the chances?” he said. “One person in the whole United States.”

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