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Trial of November 13: the terrifying testimony of the first police officer to enter the Bataclan – The trial of the attacks of November 13, 2019


On the police radio waves that evening, there was “extreme confusion”. Explosions at the Stade de France, shootings in Paris. The two night Bac policemen stop their car to think. 9:47 p.m., warning message for Bataclan shooting. They’re right next door, they’re going there.

On the sidewalk in front of the concert hall, barriers knocked down, a few bodies and a man on the phone who shouts: “Quick, quick, there’s an attack”. Inside, shots were fired.

“I say to myself: that’s it, we are there”, tells the bar of the special assize court the commissioner, who testifies anonymously. Tall, graying hair, he keeps his hands together and the same monotonous tone throughout his testimony.

Bodies, a carpet of bodies, bodies everywhere, entangled … No words can describe what we saw

“Suddenly”, the doors of the Bataclan open. “A compact mass ran towards us screaming.” The commissioner retains “a face” – the terror of a young woman -, and “a voice” – “a man who says to me:” hurry up, there is my wife inside “”.

He gives the alert, then “we had to make a decision.” “Before us, swinging doors, the unknown. We did not know the layout of the place. There is only one certainty: that there were terrorists who massacred innocent people and awaited us with weapons of war ”.

“Bodies everywhere, entangled”

“I said to my teammate: ‘We have to go'”. The spotlights project a dazzling “white halo” over the room. “Bodies, a carpet of bodies, bodies everywhere, entangled”. “No words can describe what we saw”.

“My first thought was: ‘But how did they manage to kill so many people in such a short time?’ “. He also remembers the “contrast” between “the chaos, the gunfire”, then “nothing, no more noise. The smoke from the shots still hung in the air ”.

The commissioner hears a voice, turns around. One of the three attackers is on the scene, he is aiming at a spectator. “He yells: ‘Lie down on the ground!'”.

“The man walks forward, his hands on his head, looking resigned, he begins to kneel”.

The police take a position, shoot six times “as if on a stand”. The assailant collapses, detonates his belt. “A shower of confetti” of “human flesh”.

We shoot them, but they take a moment to say “goodbye” to their loved one, he says. “My teammate by SMS, me by phone, 5-6 seconds maximum, without waiting for the answer”.

“We heard death spread”

The police will enter the room three times, in parallel with the intervention of the BRI which will lead the assault and free hostages. “The first time, it was the unknown, (after) we knew. And it was even more terrifying ”.

In the pit, the wounded call, others despair: “What are you doing, why are you taking so long?” “. “We could hear death spreading and we couldn’t do anything”, “it was unbearable,” he said.

When the reinforcements of his service arrive, they begin to evacuate the wounded from the pit, “extremely heavy because they were bathed in blood”.

The commissioner evokes those he has met. The “crawling hand” he pulled towards the exit. “The face of the first young man” saved from the pit. “The little five-year-old boy with his ear muffs on his head” came out from under a body.

At the end of his presentation, a lawyer for the civil parties stands up. “His parents are in the room, I want to express their deep gratitude to you.” Other lawyers follow one another to pass the same messages transmitted by their clients from the room or via the Internet radio.

The police left the scene around 3:30 am “We talked, we comforted each other and then, in the early morning, everyone went to bed. Then we tried to relive as before. Here is “.

Brief silence in the room. It is up to the court to ask its questions. “Do you manage to relive as before?” », Asks the president. “The necessary has been done in terms of psychological support. But we remain marked for life ”.