The attacks on Paris have brought to light many things facing humanity — terrorism, solidarity, hate, love, and everything in between. Numerous stories are emerging of those who died, some who survived, and the heroes who risked everything to help others.
This particular article will focus on four people who have been deemed heroes for their actions. Those who could have run the opposite way, but instead had the presence of mind to stand strong.
1. Ludovic Boumbas
He was born in the Congo and worked for Fedex. His fate led him to Paris – a place he loved so much because of the multitude of opportunities to enjoy cultural activities and connect with people of all walks. From Music, to art, to films, and beautiful flowers, he loved it all.
It just so happens that the 40-year-old was celebrating his friend’s birthday at La Belle Equipe, when one of the Paris gunmen opened fire.
According to one of his friends, Boumbas threw himself in front of a woman and took a bullet for her. She ended up sustaining some injuries and was rushed to the hospital.
Boumbas, his friend Houda (the birthday girl) and her sister Halma died at the scene.
“Above all he loved people,” a friend told the Daily Mail. “He was just one of life’s good, good people. He didn’t stand a chance.”
Had he not tried to protect the woman (a perfect stranger to him), witnesses say she wouldn’t have survived.
2. Michael O’Connor
Born in England, Michael O’connor was at the Bataclan theater with his girlfriend when the chaos began. He was sure he was going to die.
He told the BBC, “People were falling all over the place, people screaming, people just clawing and running and pushing to get away.”
Instead of fleeing, he had the presence of mind to lay down on top of his girlfriend pretending to be dead.
“Once I half-realized what was going on, my first instinct was to get me and my girlfriend out of there.” He noted that when the gunmen would run out of bullets, they would quickly reload. As they reloaded, concert go-ers who had not been shot dead would run for the exits.
“I grabbed by girlfriend and pulled her down to protect her. We tried to make the exit, but there was a crush and you could not get out.”
O’connor decided that laying on his girlfriend was the best thing he could do. “I told my girlfriend I loved her.” As the horrific event continued, he was waiting to die. His girlfriend whispered to him, “we are not going to die here.”
In pretending to be dead and keeping his girlfriend out of view with his body, the two were able to escape with their lives.
A pregnant woman climbed out of a window and held on for her life, after making an escape from the Bataclan Theater.
She screamed for help, as she didn’t have the strength to pull herself back up. “Help me, help me I’m pregnant I’m pregnant.”
Her hero, who referred to himself as Sebastien, heard her plea and jumped into action.
“In front of me were two windows,” he explained. “In one of them a pregnant woman was hanging — she was begging people below to catch her if she jumped down.”
Sebastien went through the other window and clung to a vent. He then pulled her inside.
“I do not know where she went afterwards — I returned to my hiding place.”
The woman is now at home recovering. Click here to see the video of her rescue.
4. Unnamed Stadium Security Guard
As 80,000 people attended a soccer game, a suicide bomber tried to enter with a ticket. A guard, who wants to remain nameless, suspected the suicide bomber was up to no good.
He detected that the bomber wore an explosive vest under his clothing. When the suicide bomber was told he could not enter, he backed away from the turnstile and detonated the suicide belt.
Rather than thousands being killed inside of the stadium, there were only three who died — all because the security guard was watching closely and taking action.