A man, who saw, filmed and posted the viral video of the French policeman Ahmed Merabet being shot and killed point-blank by the militants after attacking the Charlie Hebdo office, has apologised for his 'stupid' reflex.
Jordi Mir, an engineer in his early 50s, told the Associated Press that he took down the video fifteen minutes after uploading it, realising it was a mistake. But it was too late by then, as the clip had gone viral.
Mir uploaded on Facebook the footage of Paris policeman Merabet being shot point blank by the two gunmen. He told AP that he initially mistook the attack on the Charlie Hebdo office as a bank heist and assumed that those shooting the man down were members of SWAT team.
He said that he was completely unaware that the Kouchi brothers – the two gunmen who he was filming – had just massacred their 12th victim in cold-blood.
"I was completely panicked," he said, being interviewed across the Parisian boulevard where Merabet was shot dead.
Merabet, 42, died outside the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine after being shot by armed attackers on 7 January.
"I had to speak to someone. I was alone in my flat. I put the video on Facebook. That was my error," said Mir.
Mir said he was horrified to see his footage airing on the television and spreading on YouTube.
The 42-second clip shows the two masked gunmen – the Kouachi brothers – walking towards 42-year-old Merabet as he lay on the ground injured.
"You want to kill us?" one of the brothers says as he strides towards the wounded officer. "No, it's OK, boss," Merabet says, raising his hand in a gesture of surrender. He is then shot point-blank in the head.
The footage aired by TV channels has irked the officer's family. Merabet's brother, addressing a press conference on Saturday chided the media, France 24 reported.
"How dare you take this video and broadcast it? I heard his voice, I recognised him, I saw him being killed and I continue to hear him every day," he said.