Alexandra Colineau parked her Autolib on the corner of Rue de Charonne and Boulevard Voltaire and walked across the street to meet her friends for dinner in the 11th arrondissement.
Seconds later, loud popping noises tore through the sounds of chatter on the street. She stopped in her tracks. The people walking on the street near her froze too.
“The sound was very loud, and then I realized the back-to-back shots sounded like a Kalashnikov,” Colineau, 35, said. “It seemed like it went on for 20 seconds.”
Moments later, she said, a black car started honking to get other drivers to leave the area. Colineau reached for her phone. It was 9:39 p.m.
“I heard gunshots,” she texted her friends. “I can smell gunpowder.”
Colineau said she stood on the street for about five minutes before she ran to her friends, who were waiting at a restaurant close by. As she told them what she'd seen, the group pulled out their cellphones to look at Twitter.
That’s when they realized there were shootings at multiple locations in addition to an explosion, she said.
“Now I think I was so stupid to stand there and not run away,” Colineau said. “No one ran away … everyone stood there.”
Parisians love to party, Colineau’s friend said, adding that the attacks were carried out in places young people frequent.
“Friday night in Paris is really the night for going out with your friends and having a good time,” Bahar Makooi, 32, said. “My brother said, ‘It’s all the places I would go to party.’ … They must have wanted to attack people where we go.”