‘I thought I would die’: Survivor recalls Bataclan massacre to RT
As three gunmen emerged from a black car parked in front of the concert venue, armed to the teeth with automatic weapons and strapped with explosive suicide belts, Massimiliano Natalucci was amongst the packed crowd enjoying the Eagles of Death Metal band playing there that Friday night.
“Once we realized that the terrorists had started storming the venue… the first thing we did was to lie on the floor. And slowly, slowly we started crawling… trying to reach the door we could see in front of us,” Natalucci told RT.
After firing random bursts, the terrorists turned their weapons on the crowd. People dropped to the floor, some just pretending to be dead. The gunmen fired randomly, pausing only to reload their weapons.
“The terrorists were shooting for 15-20 minutes non-stop at the beginning. So it was difficult to move. I was just moving when they were shooting in the opposite direction. When they were looking at me, I pretended to be dead,” he told RT.
Natalucci says that the men were not wearing balaclavas, and he could see their faces “properly”, as one of them was standing roughly five meters away. But what he remembers most are one of the terrorist's eyes. “I remember his eyes really well, his face [too] obviously.”
After between 15 and 20 minutes, Natalucci managed to crawl to the door, where he rushed from the first floor to the relative safety of “upstairs”. Once upstairs with other survivors, the concertgoers tried to block the door, to prevent the attackers from entering.
“We found a fridge in the office, we put the fridge up to block the door so the terrorist couldn’t open the door,” Natalucci told RT.
By then the firing had already stopped, most likely, because the attackers had run out of bullets, the witness claims
“After the first 20 minutes there was no more shooting. I do not know why they stopped shooting. Maybe they ran out of bullets. That is what I think. I heard the shooting resume only after two hours when the police got in,” Natalucci added.
At around 12:20am, French security forces launch an assault on the Bataclan. As the authorities moved in, one of the attackers was shot and detonating the explosive he was carrying on him. The other two terrorists killed themselves using their suicide belts.
By the end of the night at least eighty-nine concertgoers were killed, while dozens were injured. Among those wounded, was Natalucci’s friend Laura.
“She was shot in the shoulder. Now she is fine. She is going to have an operation [on Monday] in the hospital,” he says.
The visibly shaken witness says his experience at the besieged Bataclan is “something difficult to explain.”
“If you were not there, you can’t understand. I’m surprised that I’m still alive. I need to be honest, because I saw so many people die next to me, I thought ‘I’m going to die soon.'”