Knife attack in Sydney: Says one of the two French heroes is from Clermont-Ferrand

Knife attack in Sydney: Says one of the two French heroes is from Clermont-Ferrand

Silas Desbrow, who has lived in Australia for 6 years, is one of the Frenchmen who repelled the perpetrator of the shopping center massacre in Sydney on April 16. “We were in a mixture of fear and action,” he testifies.

Life has returned to normal for Silas Desbrow. Or almost. Will it really be the same after the knife attack that left six dead in a Sydney shopping center on April 16? The drama that the 32-year-old, originally from Clermont-Ferrand, experienced up close, plunged him into a media whirlwind that was as intense as it was unexpected.

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He has lived in Australia for six years, where he works for a small French construction company, and Auvergnat is one of the two French heroes who confronted the attacker. He and his friend Damian Giroux had just gone shopping at the shopping center in question. They're walking toward the gym when passersby start getting upset.

“We see a group coming down an escalator, and we don't understand what's happening. Then we hear someone say someone is being stabbed.”

Silas Desbrow (Empty)

Friends look at each other. “We say to ourselves: ‘Here we are.’” The duo then turns towards the attacker. “You see with that knife. In that moment, I put myself in a bubble. It's hard to explain, it's like a survival instinct, a combination of fear and action. I need something to defend myself, I have to hurt him.” “.

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They hold the poles

Silas Desbrow's eyes move to the columns in front of a shop. He and his friend take one each. “I was told the man with the knife was on the ground below. I saw him and we started following him from above.

“When we arrived in front of the escalator, there was a woman walking towards us. The attacker was right behind her. Then I threw a pole at him. I saw his black gaze, and I have a feeling that now he's really going to come after us. Me.”

Silas Desbrow (Empty)

Then he decides to turn around. “I'm trying to see what others can do to defend myself, not realizing that Damien is still there.” His friend, in turn, waved a pole in front of the attacker. The two French people do not know this yet, but this scene, immortalized by video surveillance cameras, will spread across social networks and gain them international fame.

Emmanuel Macron's message

Once the attacker is repelled, they leave the mall, direct the just arrived police officers, witness the killer die under their bullets and then look for a beach to rest and breathe. Short-term rest period. A few hours later, in the evening, they had a new bout of dizziness, just as they were trying. “We were having dinner with friends. I was on Facebook and saw Damian's picture!”

The whole of Australia wants to know who this brave young man is who took on the attacker. It did not take journalists long to find the two French people. First interview. “It's a simple testimonial. We're not at all aware of how long that will take.”

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Specifically, dozens of requests from the media, praise in spades, the offer of Australian citizenship to Damien Giroud, then nicknamed “the man in office”, and Emmanuel Macron’s congratulations to these two French people “acting like champions”…

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“It's strange, it doesn't happen every day,” Silas Desbrow smiles modestly. Does he feel a certain pride? “Yes, but because people tell us so,” it puts things into perspective. The Clermontois think first of all the people who saved the victims. “I like them.” He will not forget the horror of this attack. “There are people who have died. Even if what we did was, for some, a nice gesture, it will not change the fact that there have been deaths and that families are mourning. “It is these families that we should think about first.”

Support messages

Silas Desbrow has not yet returned to the scene of the killing. He has no idea yet what trauma this event might cause to himself. Among all the messages of support he received were those, thousands of kilometers away from Sydney, from friends in Auvergne. “We're not going to hide it, it's nice,” he says. with humbleness.

Olivier Choroszko

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