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It is with great sadness that we report Marie Colas, sister of Pierre, died this morning from her gunshot wound at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Marie, a postgraduate student from Switzerland, was visiting Pierre at the time of the attack.

Four persons believed responsible for the Aug. 26 shootings of Pierre and Marie during a robbery at Pierre Colas’ East Nashville home have been charged with criminal homicide. The attempted murder charges in connection with Marie’s shooting will be amended to criminal homicide, police said.

The Vanderbilt community offers its deepest sympathy to Pierre and Marie’s loved ones on their tragic loss.



  1. I know I am speaking for many in my neighborhood of Inglewood in East Nashville when I say that this has been heart wrenching. To the family of Pierre and Marie I would like to say that I am profoundly sorry for your loss. This is truly a devastating loss for not only Nashville but to humanity. May God bless all those affected by this.

  2. I hope that the four criminals receive the highest penalty for this horrible crime. Nothing can be so painful than cut human lives as these four criminals did.

    My deepest sympathy to Dr. Colas and Marie’s loved ones. I am reciting the Kadish with you on my mind.

  3. I was working part-time in the VU Anthropology Dept. when Pierre interviewed for the job and gave a wonderfully inspiring guest lecture.
    I had the pleasure of chatting with him while he waited to meet professor Demarest.
    Even in those few minutes I recognized a kind, gentle, and brilliant man.
    His murder is a terrible tragedy and loss, and my sympathies are with his family and the entire VU community.

  4. Für diese unendlich traurige Tragödie
    fehlen mir sämtliche Worte. Es sind zwei schreckliche Morde und mein ganzes Mitgefühl gilt Pierre’s u. Marie’s Vater
    und dessen Sohn, sowie seiner Freundin
    Katja aus Hamburg.

  5. Unglaublich und unvorstellbar,dass Menschen auf diese Weise zwei junge froehliche erfolgreiche Leben einfach ausloeschen Mein innigstes Beileid gilt der Fam Colas,die vor vielen Jahren unsere Nachbarn in Mexiko waren.

    “Die Erschuetterung unserer Zeit ist das Erschrecken.” Deurrenmatt

  6. We, the Maya glyph group at Hamburg university, Germany, mourn deeply shocked and depressed for Pierre and Marie.
    What a senseless and brutal breaking of these young lives.
    Pierre studied among us and then he found the way to Hamburg several times during his work at his Ph.D. in Bonn. He teached dynamic and inspiring classes on epigraphy, iconography and linguistics. From these classes arose the glyph group. Pierre gave us hints and advises when staying in Hamburg.
    A rousing teacher, a sociable man, a friend is torn from us.
    We mourn
    and we wish strength to his father, his brother and Katja.

    • Angela Brüning
    • Posted September 2, 2008 at 10:20 am
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    • Reply

    I am shocked to learn these horrific news about Pierre and Marie. It is such a tragedy for the whole family that the right words seem to be missing. I remember Pierre as a dynamic, intelligent, very friendly and helpful classmate at High School near Hamburg, Germany. All my deepest sympathy to Pierre’s and Marie’s father, brother and Katja.

  7. İn mir toby die wut , das so etwas passieren kann , 2 Junge Menschen haben die aus dem Leben genommen die blüte seine Leben waren .
    Herzliches beileid an die Familie und wünsche es das die Tater İhre gerechte straffe bekommen werden in diesem oder nachsten Leben..
    my sincere condolences to you and your family. I wish you all lots of strength
    during this difficult time. …’

  8. Marie war eine glückliche, lebensfrohe, sportliche Person, die im Belvoir Ruderclub Zürich sofort Anschluss und Freunde gefunden hat und sich für den Rudersport begeistern konnte. Marie, du fehlst uns!

    Der Trauerfamilie unser herzlichstes Mitgefühl!

    Im Namen des Belvoir Ruderclubs Zürich

    Sandro Lang
    (Ruderchef Belvoir RC)

  9. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of these two beautiful young adults. God Bless You Both

    • Christoph Schütte
    • Posted September 10, 2008 at 4:23 pm
    • Permalink
    • Reply

    Es ist traurig zu erfahren, was Menschen anderen Menschen antun können wenn Sie von Neid, Gier und Hass regiert werden. Es ist noch schlimmer zu erleben, daß junge Menschen, die mitten im Leben stehen, aus solchen Motiven sterben müssen. Ich bin tief erschüttert und traurig. Ich kannte Pierre und Marie von frühester Kindheit an und sende Ihrem Vater Hans-Peter mit seiner Frau sowie ihrem Bruder Phillipe mein größtes Mitgefühl. Ich glaube und hoffe jedoch, daß wir die, die wir lieben eines Tages wiedersehen werden. Nicht hier und nicht jetzt, sondern an einem andern Ort und zu einer anderen Zeit
    It’s sad to face what people do to each other if they are controlled by envy, greed and hate. But it’s worse to face the fact that young people spending their best time of life have to die because of such disgusting and sick intentions. I’m shocked and very sad. I knew Pierre and Marie since childhood. And I send my deepest sympathy to Hans-Peter with wife and to their brother Phillipe. But I hope and believe that we will see the people we love some further day again. Not here not now but somewhere else in different times.

    Christoph and friends

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