Saturday 3 December 2016

'We were the next to be shot' - Irishman shot in Paris attacks tells how girlfriend dragged him to safety

Published 17/12/2015 | 23:34

Katie Healy and David Nolan, who survived the Bataclan attack
Katie Healy and David Nolan, who survived the Bataclan attack

THE Irishman shot during in the Paris terror attacks has spoken for the first time about how he and his girlfriend were sure they were going to die, and how she eventually dragged him to safety.

  • Go To

David Nolan was in the Batacalan concert hall with his girlfriend Katie Healy when three gunmen from the ISIS terror group opened fire indiscriminately, murdering 89 people.

Members of Eagles of Death Metal pay their respects to 89 victims who died in the attack on the Bataclan while the band were playing (AP)
Members of Eagles of Death Metal pay their respects to 89 victims who died in the attack on the Bataclan while the band were playing (AP)

Speaking to BBC's Newsnight programme in a special report on the Paris attacks last month, the pair recalled the initial incomprehension followed by sheer terror as the crowd at the Eagles of Death Metal concert began to realise that they were being targeted by gunmen

"There were flashes, sparks and the noise of persistent gunfire," David, who is from Cork, told BBC Newsnight.

"I could see the silhouette of a man but at that point the crowd kind of fell to the side."

Katie, who is from Blackrock in Louth, continued: "People were dropping that had been hit at this stage. There was a couple just in front of me and the man definitely dropped.

Raindrops fall on a photograph of one of the victims of the Bataclan attack in Paris places across the road from the theatre. Pic:Mark Condren
Raindrops fall on a photograph of one of the victims of the Bataclan attack in Paris places across the road from the theatre. Pic:Mark Condren

“I believe that maybe what I [previously] thought was the drink spilling was his blood hitting me. I don't know.

"The gunfire never stopped really for what seems like forever and when we were on the floor David climbed on top of me to protect me and it was very apparent people were dying around us and that there was some sort of massacre happening and we were part of it."

When the lights came on in the venue, Katie was able to to partially process the extent of the massacre.

 “It wasn't just that 'I think that that's blood',” she said.

“It was, 'I am definitely covered in blood. I am definitely face down in blood. This is definitely a man that's been shot. This is definitely happening. We can see it now'" said Katie.

"I turned my head and to my right there was a girl..."

"She was motionless," David added. "It was clear that she was dead."

One of the gunmen was soon in their immediate vicinity

"With each shot the walls just vibrated and it felt like it was just beside us. I said to David: 'This is it. I love you. Goodbye'," Katie said.

David recalled looking to his side and seeing a black-clad gunman walking "within feet of us".

"Again I thought, 'This is the moment - he's going to point at us now and we were the next to be shot.' Somehow he just walked by and he didn't point the gun at us."

Amidst the chaos and bloodshed, David was, in fact, shot in the foot, causing him huge pain. However, when an emergency exit was opened, the pair went to escape.

"I looked down and I could see my shoes filled with blood," David said. "It was pumping out of my foot. I couldn't run any further... but we had to keep going. She dragged me to safety, at that point I was pretty much going to pass out

"There was dead bodies on the floor and we were almost stumbling to the door… stumbled down three steps and we were out onto the street."

Eventually they gained access to a gated apartment, and David's wounds were attended. he was later treated in hospital.

Despite surviving such a trauma, Katie said she was not angry about what had happened on November 13th.

"I feel sadness for everyone that was there… for the ones shooting and the ones shot," she said. "There’s no point feeling angry it’s just dumb.

“I’m just sad, sad for everyone,” she said.

Online Editors

Read More

Promoted articles

Editors Choice

Also in World News