Paris man livestreams deadly terror raid from smartphone
Published Wednesday, November 18, 2015 9:50PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 18, 2015 11:24PM EST
A man living in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis livestreamed Wednesday’s early-morning terror cell takedown -- and even translated his experience into several languages for the global crowd that had gathered online.
Language consultant Benson Hoi, 29, used his smartphone camera to broadcast the sound of police yelling and shooting during the raid on a terrorist apartment mere metres way.
Hoi also captured the barks of police dog Diesel, who was killed by a female suicide bomber during the operation.
Although Hoi didn’t know it at the time, at least three people were killed and eight suspects were arrested in connection with terrorism investigations following Friday night’s unprecedented attack.
“I’m grateful to be alive,” he said while recounting the experience to CTV Chief Anchor Lisa LaFlamme.
The video starts off with him saying, “I’ve actually seen some people who look like terrorists … I am actually hearing gunshots.”
Not much is visible because -- as Hoi repeatedly tells the viewers goading him online -- he had to put the camera down near his window and get down low for his safety.
“I’m not killing myself for Periscope,” he said, referring to the smartphone application that allowed him to share the video in real time.
After about half an hour, the noise of the gun battle died down and Hoi turned the camera on himself. He explained that he woke up around 4 a.m. to what he thought were fireworks.
“Obviously there are no fireworks at four a.m.,” he said. There were multiple shots per minute and that the melee lasted about an hour, he added.
“If I die, I love you all,” he told the camera. “If I don’t die, I still love you all.”
Hoi then translated what had happened into several languages, including French, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese and Japanese.
Eventually, he put his phone on a selfie stick and stuck it out the window, where several police cars could be seen just down the street.
Hoi told LaFlamme he was worried at the time that a bomb might detonate and kill him, so he sent messages to his loved ones.
He said he was encouraged, however, that his multilingual social media recording would survive either way.
“I wanted to inspire people to learn languages, because that has been my passion,” he said.
“Even if my life were to end around that time, I wanted to spread that message -- and that would be left on social media.”