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Paris attack witness: ‘he was dressed in black, professional, shooting and killing’

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Psychotherapist Mark Colclough, a 43 -year-old British-Danish dual citizen, was with a colleague on Rue de la Fontaine when he witnessed a gunman attack a cafe

We were about 20 metres away from the cafe when we heard a firecracker and I looked around and I could see a human, perhaps 185 cm tall, and the position made it clear he was shooting.

He was standing in a shooting position. He had his right leg forward and he was standing with his left leg back. He was holding up to his left shoulder a long automatic machine gun I assured it had a publication beneath it.

Everything he was wearing was tight, either boots or shoes and the trousers were tight, the jumper he was wearing was tight , no zippers or collars. Everything was toned black.

If you think of what a combat soldier looks like, that is it merely without the webbing. Just a man in military uniform, black jumper, black trousers, black shoes or boots and a machine gun. Maybe a woolly hat.

He was left handed and shooting in explodes of three or four shoots. It was fully intentional, professional explosions of three or four shots.

He killed three or four individuals who were sitting in the chairs in front of the coffeehouse. We find them get shot down. They fell off their chairs onto the ground.

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He then swivelled and shot through a vehicle drivers window.

We then ensure him walk into the coffeehouse. He swivelled right and then swivelled left and opened fire. That is when we dived for cover.

We heard a total of maybe 15 or 20 shootings, then everything ran quiet.

We went back after the shooting had stopped and all three people at the front were still lying there. We strolled towards the white vehicle that was shot. The driver has been helped outside the car by pedestrians and he had been propped up against a light pole and he was dying.

We left the scene and then we walked away about 150 metres and we watched all the police cars and ambulances and fire trucks coming in. Although our instincts were telling us we should go home to safety, we have a very strong sense of community and we thought we should go back.

To my astonish, we were taken back into the coffeehouse by police. It was pretty horrific. We could see people, who were either wounded or severely wounded or dead. Maybe 10 or a dozen.

The paramedics had arrived and were tending to people. We assured dead bodies and considered people I insured a guy who had been shot in the belly. It was horrendous. There was blood everywhere. And the only thing that struck me was about the blood in the movies and the blood in real life. In real life it is thick.

We took a circular stairs upstairs to the first floor of the coffeehouse and up there were more witnesses and wounded people.

The police would like to know whether we had heard an escape vehicle or motorcycle. We had sought cover in a road which would have been a very good escape road for him. We were between some cars but insured nothing.

We were taken to the police station to give a witness statement. The gunman we watched has not been apprehended. They confirmed that on the way out. We asked if it was safe to walk home and they said definitely not.

There were witnesses everywhere. Lines and lines of them. We were sitting next to people who were in a different place. They were caught underneath dead bodies. They had to crawl out. There were people on top of them dead. It was quite horrific for everybody.

As say to David Munk

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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