January 7, 2015
Islamic terrorists storm the French satirical newspaper office Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 and injuring 11
Angered over recent cartoons featuring the image of the prophet Mohammed, a taboo in Islamic culture, French-born brothers Chérif and Saïd Kouachi first visited an incorrect office shouting “is this Charlie Hebdo.” After realizing their mistake, they fired a round into a glass window and proceeded to the correct office.
Outside the office, they forced a worker to enter the passcode to gain entry into the building and immediately began shooting. The shooting only lasted between 5 to 10 minutes and left 12 dead and 3 injured.
The brothers fled the scene shouting “we have avenged the Prophet Mohammed!” as they shot at responding police officers and ran over a pedestrian bringing the total of injured victims to 11. The brothers escaped for 2 days until January 9 when they sought safety in a sign production building. Suspicion that they were terrorists was raised when they told a salesman “Leave. We don’t kill civilians anyhow.” The salesman notified police but said he did not feel as though the brothers meant him harm.
Another employee was hidden in the building and sent police information via text messages, alerting police to information such as the location of the brothers within the building. Police attempted communication with the brothers, though they refused. It also was known that the brothers hoped to be martyred for their cause.
During the standoff, a friend of the brothers, Amedy Coulibaly, took several hostages in a kosher supermarket, threatening to kill the hostages if the brothers weren’t allowed to leave safely. The brothers fled the sign production building as they shot at police and were killed as police returned fire; the employee still in the building was unharmed. Coulibaly was shot and killed by police within minutes of the brothers’ deaths.