An American living in Paris has revealed the incredible story of how he was present at two major terrorist attacks, and survived both.
Fourteen years after the man, named only as ‘Matthew’, stood at the foot of the World Trade Center in New York City and fled for his life as the first plane crashed into the Twin Towers, he was among the crowd at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris to watch the Eagles of Death Metal.
According to the Telegraph, the 36-year-old was shot in the leg on Friday night as he escaped from the gig when terrorist gunmen stormed the venue and killed 89 people.
Matthew said he instantly recognised the sound of gunshots and ran for the exit, attributing his quick thinking to his “American culture”.
He was hit by a bullet as he tried to make escape, and collapsed to the floor, and he was forced to crawl towards the exit each time the killers stopped to recharge their Kalashnikovs.
Speaking to Le Monde and recounting his terrifying ordeal, he said:
I inched forward centimetre by centimetre. 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. I sprinted across half of Manhattan [on September 11], but what I went through in the Bataclan was 1,000 times worse.
I was playing dead. 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’.
Daniel Psenny, a Le Monde journalist, came to Matthew’s aid after he collapsed on the pavement outside the Bataclan, dragging him inside his flat, along with several others, including a pregnant woman.
Psenny was then shot in the arm as he slammed the front door shut to prevent one of the gunmen getting inside.
Matthew’s wife was actually supposed to come to the concert with him last Friday, but stayed at home after they couldn’t find a babysitter for their two young children. Matthew was so shocked after his ordeal, he says it actually took him two hours before he could remember his wife’s phone number so he could contact her and let her know he’d survived the attack.
Matthew, who plans to share a glass of wine or three with his saviour Psenny when they’ve both recovered from their ordeal, says he may even consider returning to the Bataclan concert hall in the future. Talk about a brave guy!