Yesterday an apparent terror attack at the Champs-Elysees in Paris left one police officer and the killer dead. This comes just days before France’s presidential election during a time when terror has been on the minds of the French for years. A January 2015 attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo, the satirical magazine targeted after mocking Islam, left a dozen dead. That was followed later in the year by coordinated attacks that killed 130 in Paris. Several other attacks have unfolded in France since then, including the shocking murder of a priest in his church in Normandy and a truck attack in Nice that killed 84.
John Finney, an American citizen from Kentucky was visiting Paris with his wife to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary when the shootings occurred. Finney joined Kilmeade and Friends today to describe his chilling account of being only ten feet away from the shooter when he opened fire.
John Finney describes the moment he knew something was wrong:
We see a man get out of a car and he’s in black and he’s got a gun. Either semi-automatic or automatic, I’m not real familiar… He pulled up on the sidewalk in a car and got out and had a gun. And we’re looking at him. It happened so quickly. My wife is looking him directly in the eye and then he looked over to the street where the police were and started shooting. And when I say shooting I mean he was laying out eight to ten shots just like that. My wife saw a man hit the ground and then she said, there were hundreds of people on the street, and she said run. So automatically my kids start running, she starts running, and all the other people on the street started running.
Brian Kilmeade: In your estimation could he have shot you or was he only interested in the officers?
John Finney: I think he was only interested in the officers because he could have shot hundreds of people, they were all right there, it was unbelievable. The one thing I can’t figure out is if people are taking all this credit for a terrorist event, why weren’t they shooting everybody? Because they had the chance to do that.
Finney on if he thinks the people of France have been traumatized by multiple terror attacks in recent years:
We went through this whole thing last night and got up this morning, had breakfast and went back. The sun came up and it was business as usual. All the shops opened up, all the tourists were out, people were buying things, having drinks on the cafe corners. It was absolutely business as usual. And as I like to tell people right now, the French people are amazing. What I’d like to say your audience is that the policeman that was shot and killed, he is an absolute hero to France. To all the tourists that are here right now, the French people are heroes and they really, really come together in a time of crisis.
Listen to the full interview below: