Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Woman describes how “the love of her life” died in her arms during Bataclan terror attack in Paris

nick alexander bataclan.jpg

The ex girlfriend of a British man who was shot dead in the Bataclan terrorist massacre in Paris has described his final moments in a heart-breaking testimony at an inquest into his death.

Nick Alexander, 35, from Colchester, had been selling merchandise for the event on behalf of American rock band, Eagles of Death Metal, who were performing at the time of the attack on 13 November last year. 

He was in the Parisian concert venue when the three gunmen stormed the building midway through the gig and opened fire at 10pm. Alexander and 88 others were killed.

Helen Wilson, 49, Alexander’s ex-partner, was with him at the time – the pair had remained friends following their two-year relationship, and Wilson told the inquest how the pair had spent the night together before the terror attacks.

In a written statement read to the inquest at Essex Coroner’s Court, Wilson told of how the pair tried to “play dead” and how she tried to shield Alexander from the bullets, whom she describes as the “love of her life”, before he died in her arms.

Helen Wilson

Helen Wilson, former partner of Nick Alexander

“Nick and I were still talking,” says Wilson.

“I told him not to move and keep his eyes closed. We were playing at being dead.”

When someone in the venue screamed, it drew the attention of one of the gunmen who approached the spot where the pair were lying:

“The man was tall and had dark hair, he came in our direction and started shooting. I tried to protect Nick by covering his body with my legs and wrapping my arms,” she says.

Nick Alexander

Nick Alexander, 35, who was shot dead at the Bataclan massacre on 13 November 2015

Wilson, an American citizen living in France, describes how she felt a “burning sensation” around her legs and could see blood, realising that Alexander had been shot.

“We were holding hands the whole time. He told me that it was hard to breathe so I told him to squeeze my hand and was telling him to stay with me,” the account continues.

Wilson then attempted to give Alexander mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

“I was telling him not to leave me, and that I love him.”

But Nick told her “I’m going to die” and said that he couldn’t breathe.

Bataclan

The scene outside the Bataclan Concert Hall in Paris, on 13 November 2015

Despite trying to fight for his life and continue resuscitation attempts, Wilson says that there came a point when she “could tell he had already died.”

“At the time I was holding Nick he felt cold and his eyes had changed, his body was lifeless,” she says.

The inquest heard how Alexander had been hit by two or three bullets from a high-velocity rifle. The senior coroner for Essex, Caroline Beasley-Murray, returned a verdict of unlawful killing.

Following the inquest, Alexander’s older sister, Zoe, paid tribute to him outside the court, telling reporters:

“Nick was a much-loved son, brother, uncle and friend. A strong, gentle, generous and funny man who lived his life to the full. We were blessed to have him in our lives and we miss him beyond measure.”

Images: Rex Features

Related

diary 1.png

Seven-year-old's story of unrequited love goes viral

girl-skipping.jpg

School promotes “bikini body” fitness classes for 11-year-olds

IMG_5144_rt.jpg

“Did I inherit my mum’s depression?”

womananxietyblue.jpg

How to recognise anxiety and cope with it

wys.jpg

Elderly couple party 'til dawn at Fabric

Robin Wright Claire Underwood Frank House of Cards Kevin Spacey Equal Pay Gender Inequality.jpg

How Robin Wright fought for (and won) equal pay on House of Cards

jktrump.jpg

JK Rowling: Donald Trump has a right to be bigoted

goulding panic.jpg

Ellie Goulding opens up about ‘debilitating’ panic attacks

Comments

More

Downton’s Jessica Brown Findlay on overcoming her eating disorder

The actor hopes that she can help other sufferers by speaking out.

by Moya Crockett
27 Mar 2017

The best A-list Instagrams from the weekend

From Mother's Day celebrations to Cheryl's new arrival

by Nicola Colyer
27 Mar 2017

Orange is the New Black star Samira Wiley marries the show's writer

The brides wore Christian Siriano

by Anna Pollitt
27 Mar 2017

Kate Middleton opens up about motherhood and mental illness

“Your fundamental identity changes overnight.”

by Moya Crockett
24 Mar 2017

Oklahoma lawmaker says rape and incest are ‘the will of God’

Republican was defending a controversial anti-abortion bill

by Georgina Wilkinson
24 Mar 2017

The trailer for Emilia Clarke’s new horror film is utterly terrifying

Even Daenerys might have trouble with this one

by Amy Swales
24 Mar 2017

Emma Thompson reveals Donald Trump once asked her out on a date

Just imagine: Emma Thompson, First Lady of the United States

by Moya Crockett
24 Mar 2017

Kate Winslet recalls being called 'blubber' by school bullies

The Oscar winner had the last laugh

23 Mar 2017

Ryan Gosling explains his reaction to the Oscars Best Picture blunder

He could barely stifle his giggle - but it's not what you think...

by Hayley Spencer
23 Mar 2017

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From January Jones' beauty regime to Emma Roberts' book club

by Nicola Colyer
23 Mar 2017