'I saw shots land 10 metres in front of me': Strasbourg witnesses speak to Euronews

'I saw shots land 10 metres in front of me': Strasbourg witnesses speak to Euronews
Copyright REUTERS/Vincent Kessler
By Rachael Kennedy
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Witnesses of the shooting near the Christmas market in Strasbourg, France, have spoken to Euronews about what they saw.


A gunman opened fire near a Christmas market in Strasbourg, France, on Tuesday evening, killing at least two people and injuring 13.

Euronews spoke to several eyewitnesses on the ground in the immediate aftermath of the incident to help build a bigger picture of what happened.

Axel Jauniaux

It was supposed to be a normal night out for Axel Jauniaux, 25, and his girlfriend Laurine. Like many others, they were out on the town to visit the Christmas market.

They stopped for a few minutes on Place Kleber to admire the Christmas tree, Laurine kept them there a bit too long, but it was those extra minutes that Jauniaux says might have just saved their lives.

From Place Kleber, they headed north on Rue des Grandes Arcades, and, just as they walked past the McDonalds, they heard three shots. 

There was then a pause for a few seconds: that’s when Jauniaux says he noticed the man with a handgun just a few metres from them. 

He then heard two more gunshots, and a group of young women just in front of them yelled “shooting, shooting!”

It’s at that moment that he turned around, grabbed his partners hand and started running. 

"I never looked back," he told Euronews over the phone. 

Overcome by panic and fear, Laurine had an asthma attack but Jauniaux kept pushing his girlfriend to run up back towards Place Kleber, and escape the gunman.

He described a scene of absolute chaos, with people running and falling on the ground.

"Life is short friends everything can change in a moment, love each other and tell your loved ones you love them," he posted on Facebook

'Maurice Style'

Strasbourg-based fashion blogger Stephan, who goes by the Twitter handle "Maurice Style" and lives close to where the incident occurred, tweeted that he witnessed the moment of the shooting.

In a phone call with Euronews, he said he saw the bullets hit the wall 10 metres in front of him, "and started to run with those around me in the opposite direction."

"I live just next to the spot and there were lots of tourists around, so I opened my doors and let people inside," he added.

Doris Manou

Doris Manou, a European Parliament employee who was in Strasbourg for the plenary sitting, told Euronews she had just walked past the Christmas market as the shooting happened.

"I saw the army walking towards me with their guns pointing at the people in the crowds," she said. "Everyone started running...I panicked when I saw people running, so I did the same."

Manou said she, along with a group of tourists, then found refuge in a nearby school.


Camille Belsoeur

Camille Belsoeur, a local journalist, said he heard the gunshots, initally believing they were the sound of fireworks.

Opening the window to the room he was in, Belsoeur told Euronews he then heard 10-15 gunshots, and military officers shouting at each other.

"A severely injured person is inside the Salon d'Helene bar on Rue Saint Helene," Belsoeur tweeted. "Another one at the corner of the street outside."

You can follow the latest on the Strasbourg shooting below:

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