This American both survived Paris theater massacre and New York 9/11

  • An American who has just moved to Paris was among those who survived the Bataclan massacre that killed 89 people
  • He owes his life to a French journalist who pulled him to safety
  • He was also a survivor of the 9/11 attack in New York 14 years ago

Matthew was is also a 9/11 survivor

An American man has cheated death twice, surviving two of the most horrifying terror attacks in the world – the Bataclan massacre in Paris, France this month and the 9/11 World Trade Center attack in New York 14 years ago.

The 36-year-old American, identified in media reports only by his first name Matthew was among the concert-goers watching the performance of US band Eagles of Death Metal in Bataclan, who has narrowly survived the shooting with a gunshot wound to his left leg.

Recalling the horror that night when gunmen stormed the hall, Matthew told Le Monde he thought he would die along with 89 other victims, but was lucky after he was pulled to safety by French journalist Daniel Psenny.

The Bataclan massacre

Matthew said he immediately ran for the exit after hearing loud noises and recognizing them as gunshots, owing his instinct to his ‘American culture’, he said.

But he was shot on his calf and fell to the floor surrounded by bodies, either dead or injured. Slowly, he managed to crawl to safety everytime the attackers reloaded their high-powered weapons.

“I inched forward centimeter by centimeter. At one point, I saw the ledge of the exit at arm’s reach. I was able to grip it with one finger, then the other,” Mathew recalled.

He managed to pass through the hall towards the exit and onto the street where he was rescued by one man and Le Monde journalist Daniel Psenny who was covering the shooting from his flat.

“I was playing dead,” Matthew said. “When I felt someone dragging me by the arms, I didn’t even look up. I said, or at least in my head – ‘I love you, my angel.”

They pulled him inside Psenny’s apartment where they waited for nearly three hours before the police finally neutralized the killers.


Psenny himself was shot in the arms as he closed the door after Matthew was rescued. The journalist said he never felt like a hero after saving Matthew’s life. (Click here to read more)


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