An Atlanta drummer was onstage with the band Eagles of Death Metal when gunmen entered the Bataclan concert venue.
Julian Dorio, an Atlanta native and University of Georgia graduate, and the other band members were able to escape the venue as chaos unfolded inside.
“They saw a man with a machine gun just opening fire,” said Michael Dorio, who spoke with his brother by phone around 5:30 p.m. Atlanta time, soon after the attacks began.
Julian Dorio, 33, told his brother the band hit the floor when they spotted the gunmen then scurried out a backstage door. None of them was harmed, according to Michael Dorio.
“They heard more than they could see because of the stage lights,” he said.
Once on the streets they ran until spotting a police station, where they went inside. From there, Julian Dorio, using a borrowed phone, called his parents and brother in Atlanta.
“There were some anxious moments,” said Michael Dorio, who first learned of the attacks when friends began texting him asking about his brother’s safety.
His brother sounded shaken but thankful, he said.
“I could tell he was uneasy,” Michael Dorio said.
Julian Dorio is not a full-time member of Eagles of Death Metal but was invited to join them on a European tour that began in England on Halloween.
In response to a Facebook callout by the AJC, Kyle Young, an Atlantan in Paris, wrote that she could see the darkened bulk of Notre Dame cathedral through her windows. "The streets are quiet here and the police have told us all to 'stay inside.' The night is broken only by the almost constant sound of sirens breaking the still air," she wrote.
A woman from Powder Springs identified as NikNak Riley posted a similar note from Paris: "I'm here now, just moved my flight up to tomorrow morning. Having to cut my vacation short and come home to Atlanta. . . . Right now all we hear is sirens, looking out from my balcony there is no one on the streets. But on a good note the Eiffel tower is still shining bright in the distance."
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