Matthew was born in America, but he’s been living in Paris since July. Last week, he attended an Eagles of Death Metal concert at Bataclan; his wife was unable to come because they couldn’t find a babysitter. Matthew was shot in the leg by one of the three terrorists who left 89 innocent music fans dead.
His immediate thought when he heard gunfire was, “Perhaps it’s my American culture,” before he attempted to run for the exit. Matthew, wounded, fell and played dead, inching forward a few centimeters every time the shooters reloaded their guns. As he told Le Monde, “At one point, I saw the ledge of the exit at arm’s reach. I was able to grip it with one finger, then the other.”
When Matthew finally crawled outside, he was rescued by a journalist who had been filming concertgoers fleeing the venue from his apartment. “I was playing dead,” he said. “When I felt someone dragging me by the arms, I didn’t even look up. I said, or at least in my head, ‘I love you, my angel.’ ”
The reporter, Daniel Psenny, had also been clipped by a bullet, and the pair stayed in Psenny’s apartment until the gunfire ceased and police officers appeared. According to the Huffington Post, “They are both now recovering, and were reunited in the hospital several days afterward. And they’ve since vowed to share a glass… of wine once they’re back to full health.”
The Bataclan attack was a sick sense of déjà vu for Matthew, who used to live in New York and was at the foot of the World Trade Center when the first plane struck on September 11, 2001. “I sprinted across half of Manhattan,” he remembers. “But what I went through in the Bataclan was 1,000 times worse.”