4-Year-Old Confronted Mall Attacker—Who Freed Him

Attacker asked for forgiveness, uncle tells the 'Sun'

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 24, 2013 12:20 PM CDT

(Newser) – If true, it's pretty remarkable: After his mother was shot in the leg, a 4-year-old British boy trapped in the Kenya mall attack reportedly gave a militant some straight talk. "You're a bad man. Let us leave," Elliott Prior said, according to an interview with his uncle in Britain's Sun newspaper, recounted in the Independent. The gunman apparently took the comment to heart, deciding to release both Elliott and his sister, Amelie, 6, as well as their mother, Amber. Bizarrely, he also gave each child a Mars bar, says the uncle.

The mom is said to have saved two more children on her way out; one was a 12-year-old whose mother had apparently been killed. As the group departed, the militant reportedly asked for forgiveness, saying "we are not monsters." He urged Amber to become Muslim and told the family that the attackers weren't after Brits—just Kenyans and Americans.

A woman identified as Amber Prior was rescued from Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, with her two children.
A woman identified as Amber Prior was rescued from Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, with her two children.   (AP Photo/Sayyid Azim)
Kenyan security forces are seen at the entrance of the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013.
Kenyan security forces are seen at the entrance of the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013.   (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
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