Paris attacks timeline: From Charlie Hebdo to a Jewish grocery store - how two hostage situations unfolded

French security forces faced two hostage-taking situations 

Heather Saul
Friday 09 January 2015 17:00 GMT
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
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

French security forces on Friday dealt with two hostage-taking situations, one north east of Paris where two terror suspects were holed up with a hostage in a printing plant and the other an attack on a kosher grocery store in Paris involving an armed gunmen who took at least five hostages.

The situation is continually developing. Below is a summary of the key events leading up to the point three hostage-takers were killed Friday.


• Armed gunmen storm the Paris office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and kill 12 people, including the editor and two police. The suspects, who are named by authorities as Chérif and Said Kouachi, flee the scene in a hijacked car, then abandon the getaway vehicle and steal another vehicle. Police lose track of the suspects just before midday.


• Two of the suspects reportedly enter a petrol station in the north of France at 10.30am and steal food and petrol, forcing the staff to serve them at gunpoint. Staff at the Avia service stop in Villers Cotterets in the Aisne region report seeing rocket propelled grenades and assault rifles in the back of the stolen grey Renault Clio.

• A female police officer suffers fatal injuries when a gunman wearing a bullet-proof vest opens fire on her and a street cleaner in Montrouge, a southern suburb of Paris, shortly before 9am. The woman dies of her injuries later in the day. The street cleaner, who has not been identified, is seriously injured.


• The police-hunt for the two suspects linked to Wednesday’s attack on the Paris offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo enters its third day, with armed police focusing on the rural area in the Picardy region of France, north-east of Paris.

8.30am: Gunfire is reported near the Charles de Gaulle airport, Paris. A car chase ensues between police and the suspects in the town of Dammartin-en-Goele and shots are fired.

9am: The suspects enter a printing business just outside of Dammartin-en-Goele which is close to local schools. Residents are asked to stay indoors, stay away from windows and keep children at home.

A helicopter of the French Gendarmerie flies over Dammartin-en-Goele

10.20am: A spokesman for the French Interior Ministry reports they believe the Charlie Hebdo suspects are in the building. Reports emerge that the siege involves a hostage. French anti-terrorist forces surround the complex.

12pm: Dammartin town hall confirms one hostage has been taken at the printing building, the BBC reports.

12.30pm: Reports begin emerging of a separate shooting in a Jewish grocery store in the south-eastern area of Paris.

1pm: French media reports that hostages including women and children have been taken inside the supermarket in Vincennes. Police later confirm to The Independent that women and children are indeed among the hostages. Schools near to the supermarket are put into lockdown.

Police are mobilized with reports of a hostage situation at Port de Vincennes in Paris

1.30pm AFP reports that two people in the hostage situation in the supermarket have died. Officials have not confirmed these reports.

1.40pm French police issue an appeal for witnesses to Thursday’s shooting where a policewoman died. People the police want to speak to in connection with the shooting are named as Hayat Boumeddiene, a female, and a man called Amedy Coulibaly.

Amedy Coulibaly (left) and Hayat Boumeddiene

1.44pm: Eyewitnesses describe the moment a hostage-taker allegedly opened fire in the supermarket: "People were buying things when a man came in with a rifle and started shooting in all directions. I ran out. The shooting continued for several seconds."

2pm: Schools near the kosher supermarket where five hostages are being held remain closed.

2pm: Police name Coulibaly as wanted in connection with the siege at the supermarket. Le Monde reports that Boumeddiene, 26, has been Coulibaly’s partner since 2010 and lived in his home while he was serving a prison sentence.

3pm: The Associated Press reports a gunman in the grocery store has threatened to kill hostages if police storm the building where the Charlie Hebdo massacre suspects are holed up.

Europe 1 reports that the a daughter of a woman inside the store received a call from her mother, who said: "I am in the shop, I love you".

3.45pm: It emerges that the Kouachi brothers were on a British watch and no-fly list to prevent them from entering the UK or passing through a British airport.

3.55pm: Gunshots are heard at the scene of the siege in Dammartin-en-Goele and smoke can be seen above the building.

4pm: AFP reports that official sources as saying police launched an assault on the printworks where the Charlie Hebdo suspects were.

4.10pm: Six loud and very quick explosions are heard at the kosher grocery store where the gunman is holding people hostage.

4.15pm: AFP reports that both the Kouachi brothers are dead, while the person held hostage by them has been freed. The suspects allegedly came out of the printworks building firing at security forces.

4.30pm: Several hostages at the Paris supermarket are also freed, AFP reports. Le Monde reports that the hostage-taker at the grocery store is also dead.

4.50pm: French security forces confirm the third gunman has been killed.

5pm: Reuters and French media report four hostages have died. These reports are not yet confirmed by police.

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