BIRMINGHAM (Abby Kitto) — Samford University junior Alyssa Stockard was in Paris when ISIS attacked Nov. 13. One of several Samford students studying abroad in London this semester, she was on a weekend trip to the city of lights when things turned dark.
What started out as a routine tourist visit to the Eiffel Tower quickly turned to a keen focus on how to escape the area.
“When going to the top of the Eiffel Tower, most people expect to see kissing couples, tourists taking pictures, a city of lights and love below,” Stockard said. “What I witnessed was very different. I saw panic and concern, I saw blue and red lights of ambulances and policemen, not the twinkling iconic lights of Paris.”
Stockard was in the elevator headed to the top of the tower at 10:20 p.m. when she received a fear-ridden text from her mother noting there was a shootout taking place in Paris at that very moment.
“My first reaction was shock but not terror,” she said. “At 11:45 p.m. we left the tower to get back to safety at the hotel Mercure. The city was beginning to shut down and hotels were being booked and we were in zone 11 where the attacks were focused.”
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