Twelve people were shot and killed Wednesday in the center of Paris after masked gunmen stormed into the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which has published controversial depictions of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.
The dead included eight staff members of the magazine as well as two police officers, a visitor and a maintenance man. Among the victims was the magazine's editor, Stephane Charbonnier -- widely known by his pen name Charb, according to police.
Here are profiles of the confirmed victims so far.
Stéphane Charbonnier, the soft-spoken editor of Charlie Hebdo and a cartoonist popularly known as “Charb,” has held his position since 2009.
“It just so happens I'm more likely to get run over by a bicycle in Paris than get assassinated,” Charbonnier said in a 2013 interview with the Los Angeles Times at his office in Paris, which lacked signage after a series of threats and attacks against the left-leaning paper.
Charbonnier conceded that it would be harder to do his often-incendiary work if he had a family to worry about. But he stood on principle.
“If one person is injured or killed, it doesn't mean all of France will be put on its knees,” Charbonnier told The Times. “It's not Islam attacking France, it's one person attacking another person, that's all.… If a small group of terrorists, however small it is, starts to dictate its law to newspapers in France or elsewhere, that would really be a shame.”
Charbonnier added: “It's not exactly our drawings that have power, it's our stubbornness — a stubbornness to continue doing what we feel like doing, through drawing.... It comes from the fact that I have nothing else. The only thing we have is our freedom of speech. If we give up on that, we'd need to change fields. Do other things.”