A Muslim employee Lassana Bathily helped Jewish shoppers hide in a cold storage room from a terrorist gunman during the January 9, 2015 Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris.
Lassana Bathily a 25 years old Mali migrant became a hero by saving shoppers lives during the terrorist attack on a Jewish supermarket in Paris a year ago.
Bathily, who worked in the supermarket as a shelf stacker, helped save shoppers from gunman Amedy Coulibaly one of the terrorists on January 9, 2015.
The story of a Muslim saving Jews from terrorists made him a positive symbol of France’s diversity.
But Bathily isn’t comfortable with people calling him a HERO as he says ‘No, I’m not a hero’. I did something that had to be done.”
Before leaving for home from the supermarket, Bathily was unpacking frozen items in the basement, when he heard a rounds of gunfire upstairs and saw around a dozen people fleeing down the stairs.
Coulibaly, a member of Islamic State group, had taken several shoppers hostage upstairs and ordered a cashier to go round-up the others. Some of those who were huddled downstairs obeyed, but others refused to go and Bathily urged them to use the goods elevator to escape.
When no one wanted to take the risk, he guided them into the refrigerated room, flicking off the light and the motor, and then made his own escape via the elevator and a fire escape.
After coming outside, he helped police sketch out the layout of the shop and plan their raid. A few hours later, they stormed in and shot Coulibaly dead.
Several days after the violence, president himself granted French citizenship to Bathily, something he says had been a dream since his childhood in a small village on the Mali-Senegal border.
He returned to a hero’s welcome in Mali, where he was offered free rooms in top hotels and was received by President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.