Chilling Video of the AK-47 Attack on a Paris restaurant highlights some tips to survive an Active Shooter Scenario

U.S. Navy SEALs and Special Operation Forces have some advice for surviving an active shooter scenario.

On Friday Nov. 13, Paris and its northern suburb Saint-Denis, France, were hit by a series of terrorist attacks which killed 129 and injured 352 people.

The attack consisted of suicide bombs and mass shootings like the one you can see in the following chilling footage.

The video shows a sustained attack on a restaurant in the 11th district by means of AK-47: according to the Daily Mail, that obtained the recordings of three CCTV cameras inside the pizzeria, at least 30 bullets came into the premises, where terrified diners immediately ran for cover behind counters and under tables.

None of them died during the attack, even though, as you can clearly see in the clip a young woman was quite close to it: she was saved by the assault rifle that either misfired or ran out of ammunition.

Anyway, the footage speaks for itself and, if you look for more details, the Daily Mail has a much accurate description of the scene.

Watch the video then continue reading below.

When I saw the clip for the very first time, it immediately thought of an interesting article by Brandon Webb, a former Navy SEAL, published by SOFREP in the aftermath of the Colorado shooting in Aurora, back in July 2012.

Among the tips to survive in case of attack by a gunman Webb shared with the “average citizen” I’ve picked those that probably apply to most scenarios (you can read them all here). As you will see, some of them have probably contributed to save the life of the diners in the Paris restaurant.

Don’t Make Yourself an Easy Target

According to the former Special Operator, at public events, cinemas or even at the restaurant (as in the Paris massacre…) you should always opt for seats that give you good and east vantage points and quick exit points. “It’s the reason I still combat park (back in to a space) and sit with my back to the wall when I’m eating,” Webb pointed out.

Active Shooter Scenario Advice

“Take cover and not concealment.  Concealment hides, cover hides AND protects.  It’s the difference between hiding behind a movie seat or a concrete wall.” Quite obvious, but you may not think to this when bullets are flying above your head. Webb says that it is better to keep the eyes wide open and to act instead of waiting for first responders: they may arrive too late.  Furthermore, “a moving target is extremely hard to hit, even for the well-trained shooter.”

Alter Your Lifestyle, and it May Save Your Life

This is quite obvious. You should avoid large crowds that make rewarding targets for all kind of terrorists. In this case the target was a soft-one, almost randomly selected but, generally speaking, you should take some basic precautions. A few more tips to survive a terrorist attack are included in this more recent story written by former Navy SEAL and JSOC operator Clinton Emerson for SOFREP.

Top image credit: screenshot from the Daily Mail video


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. Like a previous post on this website detailing the tragic events, I don’t think this has something to do with aviation, although the tips here are quite interesting.

    I’m french, and if I may speak frankly, even if we don’t see any dead on the video, please keep in mind that 5 people died in this pizzeria, and I hate seeing this kind of video online, especially here where we are supposed to talk about planes, not terror attacks.
    That being said, I hope you’ll undestand and excuse my mood.

    • I understand your point, but here we discuss about everything defense related if it’s only loosely related to aviation. Considered that the U.S. Navy Seals often operate from helicopters I found their tactics and tips interesting for everyone. The previous post was about the terror attack but provided details about the Police helicopter involvement in the aftermath of the massacre. It’s just one or two posts in about 3,000 so you may consider it an exception.

  2. Kinda sad that we should even have to consider such a thing. Too many nut-jobs in the world today.

  3. Interesting tips, but not too relevant to common life. How often do things like that happen? Statistically speaking, not so often at all. I think I’d rather pick a seat with a good view of the cinema screen than one near the exit.

    • I wonder about that. This guy has an ak47 with several mags, could be wearing armor, and is looking targets of opportunity; I have my SIG P238 with 6 rounds and Levi’s. Call me a coward, but I’m more likely to run like h3ll unless I have no other choice.

      • That’s not cowardice…that’s being smart. We saw what happens when individuals who have pistols go up against body armored jihadists with AKs. Not saying people shouldn’t be armed though, I carry an MP Shield, as slim chance is better than none.

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