Sébastien was filming inside the Bataclan as the Eagles of Death Metal played their show — and then caught the moment when the first gunshots rang out in an attack that ended up leaving dozens of people dead.
On Saturday, the day after the attack, Sébastien, who asked that his last name not be used, uploaded the video to Instagram.
“I was filming the concert and suddenly there were gunshots. I don’t even know if I cut the video there or if it happened on its own,” Sébastien told BuzzFeed France.
I was with a friend in the pit, on the left, not far from one of the exits.
At first, when we heard the first shots, I didn't realize. When you know the Eagles of Death Metal, you tell yourself it's just some troublemakers who threw firecrackers.
And then, I turned around and I saw a guy with an assault rifle sniping at the crowd.
After that, Sébastien said the people in front of him lay on the ground, before they were thrown to the ground by a stampede.
It was horrible — people were walking on top of each other. I tried to help a woman get up, but I was pushed and couldn't do it. My friend and I got out after about two minutes.
Sébastien described exiting via a door that was filmed by a journalist at French newspaper Le Monde.
Then, a woman opened the hall of her building to us and I went up to her place with an injured person who had been shot in the behind. We exited at around 3 in the morning, were questioned by police, and I went home.
“I posted this video because it was a testimony of that moment. I’m not looking for celebrity: the less exposed, the better I am,” Sébastien said, when asked why he didn’t want to reveal his last name.
His images also show the first reactions of three members of Eagles of Death Metal to the gunshots.
The first guitarist, on the left, left really quickly. The big guy with the beard, on the right, didn't move. And the drummer, we didn't really know if he took a gunshot or what.
All the members of the group are safe and sound and the drummer wasn't hit, as far as we know.
Less than two days after the attack, Sébastien said he’s affected, in particular when he thinks of the victims.
I saw people falling and corpses, but what crushes me the most is the number of deaths, is thinking of the families of the victims. … We were very lucky.
Of course I ask myself many questions. Could we have done more to save people or deal with one of the guys?
You look for words to say things, but it's hard. The scene comes back in flashes.
When you get out, it helps you see real life.
Adrien Sénécat est journaliste chez BuzzFeed News France et travaille depuis Paris.
Contact Adrien Sénécat at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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