Eagles of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes has spoken publicly for the first time since the deadly Paris terror attacks, recalling the horror he witnessed inside the Bataclan concert hall as three gunmen opened fire, killing 89 people during the Nov. 13 massacre.
"Several people hid in our dressing room," Hughes told Vice.com from Venice., Calif., in an interview that will air on the website later this week. "And the killers were able to get in and killed every one of them — except for a kid who was hiding under my leather jacket."
The assault on the Bataclan was the deadliest of six coordinated attacks that left 130 people dead in Paris. Among those killed inside the venue were the band's merchandise manager and three staffers from its record label.
"People were playing dead, and they were so scared," an emotional Hughes said. "A great reason so many were killed was because so many people wouldn’t leave their friends. So many people put themselves in front of people.”
That was evident outside the Bataclan too.
A French journalist who lives in an apartment behind the concert hall captured harrowing footage of bloodied concertgoers attempting to escape, spilling out into the alleyway and being dragged to safety as others clung to a window above the emergency exit.
In a separate video, a French photographer captured dramatic footage of police as they surrounded the Bataclan, shielding a woman as they led her away from the firefight.
Following the attacks in Paris, the band canceled the remainder of its European tour and flew back to California.
“While the band is now home safe, we are horrified and still trying to come to terms with what happened in France," band members said in a statement on Wednesday, five days after the massacre. "Our thoughts and hearts are first and foremost with our brother Nick Alexander; our record company comrades Thomas Ayad, Marie Mosser, and Manu Perez; and all the friends and fans whose lives were taken in Paris, as well as their friends, families, and loved ones."
“Although bonded in grief with the victims, the fans, the families, the citizens of Paris, and all those affected by terrorism, we are proud to stand together, with our new family, now united by a common goal of love and compassion," the statement continued. “We would like to thank the French police, the FBI, the US and French State Departments, and especially all those at ground zero with us who helped each other as best they could during this unimaginable ordeal, proving once again that love overshadows evil.”