The chaos that was the attack on the offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hedbo, wasn’t the only time last week that Paris was on his alert.
As police were battling with two of the alleged shooters in the Charlie Hedbo incident, across town at a grocery store, an armed man was holding customers hostage. If it wasn’t for the help of a grocery clerk, police might’ve never apprehend their suspect. Initially, police believed their suspect was actually the person who helped them.
Lassana Bathily, the grocery clerk who has received international accolades for his heroism during the recent hostage crisis at a Parisian kosher market, was detained for 90 minutes by Paris police after alerting them that several customers were alive and hiding in the basement.
Per the Washington Post:
[Bathily] heard gunman Amedy Coulibaly enter the store and open fire, killing four customers, it was later learned. Then, according to witnesses interviewed by the Associated Press and accounts in French media, Bathily ushered more than a dozen customers downstairs. He then killed the lights and turned off the stockroom’s freezer.
Bathily, a practicing Muslim who was born in Mali, then volunteered to escape the store and alert police of the group’s whereabouts. He asked others to come with him, but everyone was too scared of the gunman to leave.
Bathily slipped out of the basement and walked out of the building to meet police, who initially thought he was perhaps an accomplice. They ordered him to lie down and put his hands behind his head…Bathily spent the next 90 minutes in cuffs before he managed to convince authorities he was who he said he was. He told the cops he wasn’t alone. There were more than a dozen other hostages locked inside the store’s freezer.
After realizing that he was help in the situation. After giving the police keys to the freezer and a layout of the restaurant, cops were able to apprehend the shooter.
The police later thanked him for his ideas. In defense of the police it was better at that time to be cautious.
Watch a clip from the scene below