World

Bataclan terror attack survivor recounts encounter with gunman

'I TOLD GUNMAN I WASN'T FRENCH' 

A Chilean escaped death even though he was confronted by one of the gunmen at the Bataclan concert hall.

Mr David Fritz Goettinger, 23, described how he told the gunman he was Chilean and not French.

And the gunman let him go after that.

"The terrorists got there and opened fire all over the place," Mr Goettinger told local TV station Chilevision from Paris, where he lives.

"It was kind of like an earthquake, they were firing all over the place, there were explosions and shots."

"I'd gone to the bathroom and I came out and could tell something bad happened.

"The music from the show had stopped so I went to talk with my friend and ask what happened. And then I saw dead people."

A gunman pointed directly at him, but did not fire, Mr Goettinger said.

He told police he was asked by one of the gunmen if he believed in God and he said he did.

He was asked if he was French and he said he was Chilean.

He was allowed to go.

"So then we hid, first we crawled along the floor to find somewhere to hide and I got stuck somewhere on the second floor," he recalled, adding that he was tired and in shock.

Eighty nine people died at the rock concert where American band Eagles of Death Metal were playing.

A total of 129 people were killed in a wave of attacks in Paris claimed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group.

Yesterday, French police detained relatives and friends of one of the seven gunmen and suicide bombers.

SEVERED FINGER

The first attacker to be named was 29-year-old Omar Ismail Mostefai, who was identified from a severed finger among the carnage at the Bataclan concert hall.

Police detained six people close to him, including his father, brother and sister-in-law, judicial and police sources said.

Mostefai, born in the modest Paris suburb of Courcouronnes as one of four brothers and two sisters, had eight convictions for petty crimes, but had never served a prison sentence.

"It's a crazy thing, it's madness. Yesterday I was in Paris and I saw what a mess this was," one of his brothers told AFP before he was taken into custody on Saturday night.

French police also found a black Seat car that witnesses said was used in the shootings at a bar and restaurant by one group of attackers.

The vehicle was recovered from Montreuil, in the eastern Paris suburbs, and was being scoured for evidence.

'I felt blood on the floor'

CARNAGE AT BATACLAN

Mr Loic Wiels could feel the bodies hitting the floor around him at the Bataclan concert hall where a gang of assailants opened fire on Friday in one of France's deadliest terror attacks.

The bullets whizzed by so close, he was hit by the wood splinters that were sent flying.

And under his feet, he could feel the blood that had poured out of the wounded and the dead.

Mr Wiels, 33, is one of the survivors of the assault on the Bataclan. He told AFP his experience.

Just an hour before the attacks, Mr Wiels had felt lucky to be among the crowd at the concert hall in eastern Paris.

He had managed to get a ticket at the last minute for the Eagles of Death Metal concert, which was sold out.

In the packed hall, which can hold up to 1,500 spectators, the rock group had been playing for about 45 minutes when the explosions rang out.

Someone in the audience joked: "It's firecrackers."

Said Mr Sylvain Raballant, 42: "I turn around and I see two guys with Kalashnikovs. They were dressed normally: jeans and sneakers. At first I thought they were shooting in the air. Then I saw people falling over."

Everyone who was in the pit, like Mr Wiels and Mr Raballant, hit the floor.

Mr Wiels said: "I saw three attackers, two of them clearly. One looked like a young guy, with a three-day beard. The other was closely shaved, wearing small eyeglasses and some kind of yellow beret.

"He was also wearing what I took for a bullet-proof vest. It was actually an explosive vest.

"I felt the blood on the floor, the shock waves of the people falling around me."

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, including the one on the Bataclan, that left 129 people dead.

BY THE numbers

129

The number of people who died in Friday's terrorist attacks in Paris. More than 350 people were injured. - AFP

 

 

Paris attacksUncategorisedBataclanFrance