French emergency doctor Patrick Pelloux was called for an intervention in the center of Paris on Saturday evening, when a man urged him to come quickly. A little further away, near the Eiffel Tower, he provided first aid to the victims of a knife attack.
Pelloux, who is the president of the French association of emergency physicians, was working on another intervention nearby, but decided to interrupt it after a man suddenly gestured that something was wrong, he told the French channel BFMTV. “He told us that a knife attack had just happened and we needed to help urgently,” the emergency doctor remembers.
He took care of a seriously injured German tourist, who would succumb to his injuries moments later. “The first firefighters arrived just as we started treating the man. He was intubated and we checked for blood in his chest. When we turned the man around we saw a cut in the back.” According to Pelloux, the perpetrator had only just struck. “There was blood everywhere, including on the German’s partner, she was covered in the man’s blood.”
The care provider emphasizes that it was a chaotic situation, in which it proved extremely difficult to determine exactly what had happened. “People were panicking, but the police officers did a great job and set up a security perimeter.”
A witness told Patrick Pelloux that the attacker had approached his victims and asked them for a cigarette, after which he suddenly struck. “He first struck at the head and then at the back, which shows that he deliberately intended to inflict serious injuries on them. The attacker was there to kill, I am sure,” he concludes.
After the terror attack, the perpetrator was arrested by the police and three men from his entourage were arrested on Sunday. The attacker, a man with radical Islamist views who is known for psychiatric problems, was sentenced to four years in prison in 2016 because he had plans to commit an attack in the Parisian office district of La Défense.