Gunmen's Shout: 'Where Is Charb? Where Is Charb?'

Witnesses say assailants made sure to find editor of 'Charlie Hebdo'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2015 1:14 PM CST
Gunmen's Shout: 'Where Is Charb? Where Is Charb?'
Masked gunman fire their weapons outside the office of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.   (AP Photo)

Witness accounts are providing a more complete picture of yesterday's attack on the offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris. It's clear that one of the attackers' main targets was editor Stephane Charbonnier, who had been leading a weekly meeting when the two assailants burst in. "Where is Charb? Where is Charb?" they shouted, using his nickname. They spotted him, aimed, and fired, reports the New York Times, rounding up French media accounts. CNN reports that the gunmen separated the men from the women, called out the names of cartoonists, and shot them. "Not randomly spraying bullets, but taking professional, precise aim."

One female journalist who was present, Sigolene Vinson, says she hid behind a partition, but a gunman found her. “Don’t be afraid, calm down, I won’t kill you,” she says he told her in a calm voice. “You are a woman. But think about what you’re doing. It’s not right.” He then yelled to his partner, "We don't shoot women!" But they had no mercy for a male security guard at the building, who was shot as soon they entered. The men got into the building by forcing cartoonist Corinne Rey to punch in the security code—she had just picked up her daughter from daycare, and they "brutally" threatened her, she says, according to the Daily Mail. One man who entered the offices in the immediate aftermath says survivors "were just standing like—not zombies—but they were standing and didn't do anything. We tried to help the very first one, but actually, to be honest, there were not a lot of wounded, they were just people dead, all around." (Read more Charlie Hebdo stories.)

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