A 27-year-old man has revealed how he guided police while hiding in a box as Charlie Hebdo terrorists Said and Cherif Kouachi holed themselves up in a print plant.
Lilian Lepere spent six hours hiding, all the time texting crucial information to police officers, until the brothers finally burst out of their lair and were mown down by security services.
Mr Lepere, who is understood to have been in a locked room, first sent a text to his father saying: “I am hidden on the first floor. I think they have killed everyone. Tell the police to intervene.” He then sent information to the police, helping them stay one step ahead of the Kouachis.
Lilian was initially trapped inside the building with his father, business manager Pascal, however his father managed to escape around 2.30pm local time and ran to police. Sky News says the gunmen released him after he helped Said with a neck wound he had sustained in an earlier firefight with police. Lilian remained trapped in the building, but the gunmen were unaware of his presence.
Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said Lepere sent police “tactical elements such as his location inside the premises”. He added that Lepere could even hear the men talking and relayed their conversations to security forces outside.
Police finally raided the building around 5pm when the brothers ran out, all guns blazing. An armoured car allowed them access to the upper floor, where they finally released Lepere. He was taken to police headquarters where he was reunited with his family.