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