When terrorist Amedy Coulibaly entered the Paris grocery store, Muslim worker Lassana Bathily acted quickly, heroically hiding Jewish shoppers in a basement freezer.
As one Muslim entered a kosher market in Paris to kill Jews, another risked his life to save them.
Lassana Bathily, 24, a Muslim from Mali, works at the Hyper Cacher market in Paris, and when Amedy Coulibaly, an ISIS-linked terrorist, entered the grocery Friday afternoon and killed four shoppers Bathily quickly rushed six of the hostages to refuge, hiding them in the market’s massive freezing unit, and by doing so saved their lives. One of those saved by Bathily was a one-month-old baby.
“When they ran downstairs I opened the door to the freezer and I went inside with them,” Ynet quotes Bathily as saying. “I turned off the light and I turned off the freezer. I left the freezer and told them to stay calm.”
One of the shoppers, Michel, who escaped to the freezing unit recounted: “I was standing to pay at the checkout and I heard a loud noise, like a firecracker. I was not afraid until I saw an armed man, and then I understood immediately what was happening.”
Michel began to search for a hiding place for his son and himself. “I took him by the neck and pulled him to the back of the market. Together with some of the other customers we went downstairs and entered one of the two freezers. The door would not lock from inside and we were very scared. The terrorist sent one of the store workers to tell us to go upstairs and said that if we did not come there would be a massacre.”
At first Michel refused to listen to the worker and stayed with his son downstairs. “I said we would wait. She came back ten minutes later with the same message, and this time I decided we would go.”
Those who went back upstairs were met by a nightmarish scene. “We went up the steps and saw a man lying in a pool of blood.” Despite the shock Michel kept cool and called the police, leaving it on so the police could hear everything was happening inside the market.
“The terrorist walked among the shelves and declared that death was a prize for him. He suddenly began to pray and the police heard everything. Within seconds we heard the store grate going up and we understood that it was all over. We got down on the floor, there was a terrible noise, and the terrorist was shot.”
The police were successful in quickly eliminating Coulibaly, thus preventing further casualties. However, his partner and alleged accomplice, 26-year-old Hayat Boumeddiene, now considered to be the most-wanted woman in France, reportedly managed to escape to Syria.