Sunday, November 15, 2015

Boy of 12 who survived theatre massacre with dad 'lay on floor with dead bodies'

Survivors: John Leader and son Oscar
A father who was caught up in the carnage at the Paris theatre with his young son has told how he initially thought gunshots were fireworks forming part of the show.
Australian John Leader, 46, and son Oscar, 12, survived the massacre at the Bataclan concert hall where 89 people were slaughtered.
He told CNN: “We heard this bang, bang, bang, and like everyone else we thought it was fireworks, or part of the show.
“And then I felt something go past my ear, I don’t know what it was.
Horror: Young Oscar lay down with dead bodies as the gunmen blasted revellers
“Then I realised something was going toward the stage. At that point I think everyone understood. Everybody threw themselves on the ground. It was still dark so only the concert was lit up on the stage.
“As I stuck my head up from the desk to see what was going on I saw the two shooters. One was changing his magazine, so he had a whole lot of magazines in front of him and he had a big vest on.
“I could see one of the guys was covering and doing crowd control, and the other guy was executing.
“So there was no chance of anyone being a hero because these guys were organised. One was covering the crowd and the other was doing the shootings.”
Around 1,500 flocked to the Bataclan to see rock band Eagles of Death Metal, but their night of fun turned into a bloodbath at the hands of merciless gunmen.
Bodies were strewn across the auditorium. Carpets were soaked in blood. Bullet holes riddled walls, seats, the floor.
Schoolboy Oscar told how he lay on the floor amongst the dead bodies.
The youngster heartbreakingly told CNN it was the first time he had ever seen a dead body.
A man arrested by police near the Bataclan theatre
Witnesses – including Britons and some who survived by playing dead – told
in chilling detail how three terrorists with Kalashnikovs shot people in wheelchairs first.
The gunmen sprayed the theatre with bullets and hurled explosives in a horrific opening salvo.
Then they circled fans “like vultures” picking off victims one by one.
    More than 80 people were killed in cold blood. Scores more were left wounded.
    Mobile phone footage showed terrified gig fans dangling by their fingertips from window ledges as they made their escape.
    One woman holding on was heard to shout: “Help. help, I’m pregnant, I’m pregnant. What shall I do?” She was rescued.
    Paris Shooting
    The gunmen began firing into the crowd , mowing people down where they stood.
    Gig fan Julian Pearce, a journalist said: “It lasted for 10 minutes, 10 minutes, 10 horrific minutes where everybody was on the floor covering their head.
    “The terrorists were calm, determined and reloaded three or four times. They were shooting at people on the floor.”
    Paris Attacks
    Attacks in Paris: Illustrations of the wounded and security forces before the Bataclan concert hall
    Isobel Bowdery, 22, survived by playing dead for more than an hour.
    She told of her ordeal in a grim account on Facebook.
    She wrote: “It was a massacre . Dozens were shot in front of me. Pools of blood filled the floor.
    I pretended to be dead for over an hour, lying among people who could see loved ones motionless.
    “Holding my breath, trying to not move, not cry – not giving those men the fear they longed to see. The images of them circling like vultures will haunt me.
    REUTERS/Philippe WojazerA French policeman assists a blood-covered victim near the Bataclan concert hall following attacks in Paris, France, November 14, 2015
    Police who dashed to the Bataclan quickly realised that what was thought to be a hostage situation was a race to save lives.
    Benjamin Cazenoves frantically put out a Facebook alert, writing: “They are cutting down all the world. One by one.”
    A few minutes later, he added: “Alive. Just cuts. Carnage. Dead bodies everywhere.”
    GettyParis Attacks
    Police stormed the concert hall. Hails of bullets were fired and grenades were tossed by the terrorists.
    The firefight came to an end when one attacker was shot dead and the others blew themselves up.
    Many of those still alive in the building tended to the wounded, using clothing as makeshift bandages.