The number of people killed at a Kosher supermarket Friday in the Porte de Vincennes neighborhood of Paris could well have been higher were it not for the resourcefulness and calm thinking of a market employee named Lassana Bathily.
Bathily, 24, a Muslim immigrant from Mali, was working in the store when the Islamist gunman Amedy Coulibaly burst in.
Up to 15 of the customers who were in the store ran down to the store basement, when Bathily had an idea.
“When they ran down, I opened the door [to the freezer],” he told France’s BFMTV.
He quickly shut off the freezer and switched off its light. As he closed the door to shelter the customers inside, he reportedly told them, “Stay calm here. I’m going out.”
When it was all over, and the hostages were freed from the freezer, they thanked Bathily. “They congratulated me,” he told BFMTV.