In the wake of yesterday’s terrorist attacks in Paris that left at least 129 dead, the world is struggling to come to terms with the horror of the most violent day in the city since World War II. With the bulk of the massacre having taken place at a sold out Eagles of Death Metal show at the 1,500-capacity Bataclan, U2 singer Bono called the attacks “the first direct hit on music,” and it’s hard to disagree with him. The band had just finished their sixth song, a cover of Duran Duran’s “Save a Prayer,” when four gunmen armed with AK-47s entered and shot and killed somewhere between 87 and 118, according to reports. Graphic video shot across the street from the venue’s exits has surfaced, and it’s a tough watch.
Some of the dead have been named. While Eagles of Death Metal were able to escape to safety, their merch manager, Nick Alexander 36, from London, was one of the victims of the attack, his family confirmed:
“It is with huge sorrow that we can confirm that our beloved Nick lost his life at the Bataclan last night. Nick was not just our brother, son and uncle; he was everyone’s best friend – generous, funny and fiercely loyal, Nick died doing the job he loved and we take great comfort in knowing how much he was cherished by his friends around the world. Thank you for your thoughts and respect for our family at this difficult time. Peace and light.”
Another victim was Thomas Ayad, an international product manager for Mercury Records, who was part of the crew attending the show. Universal Music Group CEO, Lucian Grainge released the following note on the subject:
Today, I’m writing to you with a heavy heart.
We, like so many around the world, are struggling with last night’s horrific tragedy in France.
Paris is in our thoughts and prayers. We extend our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims as well as our fervent wishes for healing for all of those affected by this senseless violence.
This is especially painful and personal for all of us. As many of you know, the band Eagles of Death Metal is part of the UMe and Mercury France family. The band and its crew as well as our own teams from Mercury and other UMG staffs were present at the Bataclan theater for last night’s show.
At this point, we have confirmed that Thomas Ayad, an international product manager for Mercury Records lost his life in the attack on the theater. This is an unspeakably appalling tragedy. I cannot even begin to express the depth of my sorrow. On behalf of everyone here at UMG, we extend our most profound sympathies to his parents and all of his friends and family.
We will update you further as information permits. In the meantime, please send all healing thoughts and prayers for those affected by this heinous act.
Today is a dark day. We are a family. Let’s support one another as we grapple with the weight of this darkness.
French music and culture outlet InRocks confirmed that William B. Decherf, one of their writers attending the show was also one of the victims of the incident. Decherf was 43 and father of two daughters.
Warning: A video of the incident surfaced online, shot across the street from the venue, where people were running from the attackers as bodies lie in the streets. The following video contains graphic content and viewer discretion if advised.