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'I have a little pinch in my heart,' Swannanoa woman says after Paris attack

Joelle Aubrey, who now lives in Swannanoa, at one time lived near where the deadly shooting of the French police officer took place. (Photo credit: Joelle Aubrey)

The terrorist attack Thursday in Paris hit close to home for some area residents.

Joelle Aubrey, who now lives in Swannanoa, at one time lived near where the deadly shooting of the French police officer took place.

"Each time I hear or read something that has to do with people being hurt, especially in France, I have a little pinch in my heart," she said.

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Aubrey has lived in Western North Carolina for 10 years, but she was born and raised in France and once lived just blocks from Paris' iconic Champs-Elysees, where the shooting took place.

"It will always be that love of France. I'm also American. I'm global and, see, I don't understand why someone wants to hurt someone else," Aubrey said. "When I lived there, we might have a little bit of a police presence see but nothing like it is now."

Jeanne Mercier manages the Casablanca Cigar Bar, but she lived in Paris two years.

"I couldn't imagine living there right now and what it must feel like," she said.

The news brings back memories of the last attack in Paris.

"Bataclan, that was, friends of mine were actually in that," Mercier, referring to an attack at the theater in 2015.

For both women, Paris is a city they love. But Aubrey said no matter where attacks are happening, she feels only sadness at news of the violence.

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