Jewish supermarket attack: Hostage shot after he 'grabbed jihadist's empty gun'

'He came back and shot the customer, who died instantly'

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The Independent Online

A hostage who survived an attack on a Jewish grocery store has described the moment a victim grabbed one of the jihadist's guns, only to find it was not working.

The unidentified man, who spoke exclusively to Le Point newspaper, said he was on his way to the checkout with his three-year-old son when Amedy Coulibaly, who was reportedly armed with Kalashnikovs, began firing shots at the building.

He told the newspaper he dragged his son to the back of the store and down a staircase where other terrified shoppers were fleeing as the assault continued. There, shoppers split and hid in two walk-in refrigerators, one of which did not lock.

In a translation obtained by The Independent, the man said: “Ours did not lock. We were terrified.

Warning: Viewers may find this video distressing

“Five minutes later, the gunman sent a shop employee down to tell us to go back upstairs. ‘The man says there will be a massacre’, she said. I refused to go up. My son was panicking; he didn’t know what was going on. We waited. Ten minutes later, the employee came down with the same message."

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The man said that after being asked again, he followed her upstairs where he found one of the hostages in a pool of blood on the floor.

He said the terrorist was “eerily calm” when he introduced himself as a member of Isis (also known as Islamic State).

“He walked around the store, armed, while justifying his act, speaking of Palestine, French prisons, brothers in Syria and many other things,” he told the paper.

He said one customer suddenly tried to take one of his guns on the shop counter but found it did not work.

“He [Coulibaly] came back and shot the customer, who died instantly.

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“He then asked me to call the media, which I did. (BFMTV). After that the shop phone did not stop ringing. It was mostly journalists - I told them that this was not the time. My son started to cry. He wanted to go home."

He said he managed to get his phone and call police outside of the building as Coulibaly stalked the aisles, who instructed him to lie down flat on the floor when he heard forces entering the building, “which would be soon”.

Members of the French police special forces evacuate the hostages after launching the assault at a kosher grocery store in Porte de Vincennes, eastern Paris

“The terrorist seemed to prepare himself for death. He said it was his reward. He had a weapon in each hand, charges and boxes of cartridges nearby. He suddenly began to pray. Moments later, the shop shook and we knew the assault had started. We threw ourselves to the ground.”