Hero honored in Cleveland after terrorist attack

Supermarket hero honored in NE Ohio

INDEPENDENCE, OH (WOIO) - A terrorist attack at a Paris grocery store left several dead and others frighten. It was a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad that sparked deadly terror attacks back in January.

Four months later Lassana Bathily remembers it like it was just yesterday.  He speaks French, but with help from his interpreter, Bathily told 19 Action News his story.
"Everybody started panicking and screaming.  Cause he was the one who knew the store they asked him what we were going to do," said Bathily.
Bathily said he and a group were in the lower level of the store when he made a split second decision to hide them in a freezer, protecting them from gunfire.
"I actually though they would come down and I realized what was happening and who it was," said Bathily.
For his heroic actions, the Cleveland Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic relations honored him at its 13th Annual Civil Rights Banquet.
"Very well honored and happy. I have lots of emotions as well," said Bathily.
He's being declared a French National Hero, but doesn't consider himself one.  To him, he just did what he had to do.
"Even if it would have happened tomorrow, I would have done exactly the same," said Bathily.

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