These Eyewitness Testimonies From The Attacks In Paris Are Tragic And Terrifying

Photos of the attack and its aftermath at the Rue bichat.

As more and more details of the attacks on Paris come in, so do witness accounts from people who were at the site of the shootings when they occurred. The Guardian has compiled several of these eye-witness accounts and they are both heartrending and chilling, making it clear how terrifying and senseless the violence that happened all over the city was.

According to Julian Peace, a journalist at the Eagles of Death Metal concert at The Bataclan, the attacks came with no warning. Men, not wearing face masks, came into the crowd and began shooting everywhere. And the terrorists had enough time to not only shoot at innocent concert-goers, but to reload their guns. The shooting, Peace says, went on for more than ten minutes, possibly closer to 15.

Here’s another account from Marc Coupris, one of many who spoke to The Guardian about their experience:

“It looked like a battlefield, there was blood everywhere, there were bodies everywhere. I was at the far side of the hall when shooting began. There seemed to be at least two gunmen. They shot from the balcony.”

“Everyone scrabbled to the ground. I was on the ground with a man on top of me and another one beside me up against a wall. We just stayed still like that. At first we kept quiet. I don’t know how long we stayed like that, it seemed like an eternity.

Coupris, like many others at the venue, thought that his life was over at that moment:

“I saw my final hour unfurl before me, I thought this was the end. I thought I’m finished, I’m finished. I was terrified. We must all have thought the same. Eventually, when a few gendarmes came in slowly we began to look up and there was blood absolutely everywhere. The police told us to run.”

Other members of the audience recalled thinking that the shooting was part of the show, some kind of pyrotechnic, perhaps, or loud noises that were coming from the stage.

At Rue De Charonne, a woman who had witnessed the attacks there said she had never seen anything like it in her life:

“I worked in hospitals, I studied medicine, and I’ve never seen anything like it. Me and my son ran back to get some help, and literally ran into a number of bodies. It was “a carnage”, she said. People were lying dead on the floor, badly hurt and screaming. “I’ll never forget it.”

Parisians are working to help anyone who’s been displaced by the attacks find a safe place for the night. The hashtag #portouverte (open door) is beginning to trend and Twitter users are opening their homes to people who won’t be able to get home tonight.

We will continue to keep the people of Paris in our thoughts and update this story with further details as they become available.

Via The Guardian