Wednesday 20 September 2017

US man shot in Istanbul attack says mobile phone may have saved life

Jacob Raak
Jacob Raak
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A US businessman has told how his mobile phone may have helped him survive the New Year's Eve terrorist attack in Istanbul.

Jake Raak was shot in the leg when the gunman opened fire but another bullet hit and destroyed his phone. Doctors said this may have helped prevent damage to a major artery.

Mr Raak, who owns aerospace manufacturer TECH Manufacturing, Corp, told NBC News that he stayed silent and motionless after being hit and that the gunman was targeting people lying on the ground.

"When he shot me I didn't move - I just let him shoot me," he said. "I was shot when I was already on the ground. He was shooting people that he had already shot.

"You just have to stay as calm as you can," he added. "I took a bullet."

Mr Raak (35), from Delaware, was one of 60 people injured in the Club Reina attack. A total of 39 people were killed - most of whom were foreigners.

He explained that he was with a group of nine people when the gunman opened fire.

He came within inches of the shooter, who walked along a bench that he was lying underneath.

"I saw him coming and he shot us all," he said. "Somebody said there were shots fired and I initially did not believe it until I saw the gunman and he started shooting up the whole place."

He added: "I was probably the luckiest person in the whole thing."

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the shooting today, identifying the attacker as "a heroic soldier of the caliphate." It said the attack had been carried out "and in response to a call" from its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, although it did not say whether it directed or merely inspired the perpetrator.

The gunman fired some 120 rounds during his rampage in and around the nightclub at about 1:30 a.m. on Sunday.

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