Wooler man’s heroics during Tunisian gun attack

Paul Short who was at the resort of Sousse in Tunisia at the time of the terrorist shootings.
Paul Short who was at the resort of Sousse in Tunisia at the time of the terrorist shootings.

A north Northumberland man has spoken of the terrifying moments he faced while helping other tourists caught up in the terrorist attack in Tunisia.

Last Friday, in the coastal resort of Sousse, Seiffeddine Rezgui killed 38 people in a gun and grenade assault at Imperial Marhaba beach hotel before being shot dead.

Police officers watch tourists taking photographs of flowers at the scene of the attack in Sousse, Tunisia. (AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar)

Police officers watch tourists taking photographs of flowers at the scene of the attack in Sousse, Tunisia. (AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar)

Paul Short, from Wooler, an ex-Territorial soldier, was on holiday with his wife. They were in their hotel room when he heard what he knew to be gunfire.

In an interview with ITV, he describes how he went out and saw three bodies nearby, two were already dead, but the third – a man – was still moving. “I went up to concentrate on the guy because I wanted to try to save his life,” he said.

The victim was bleeding really badly from a wound on his leg with blood running down the steps. Mr Short then put a tourniquet on and pushed a towel into the wound while telling him to be quiet as the gunman was still nearby.

Mr Short and ‘an ex-Army guy called Keith’ then watched as the terrorist, who had stopped shooting, took photos of the bodies and laughed. They considered jumping him but saw he had grenades attached to his belt.

At this point, an older man came into the lobby shouting for his wife, attracting the attention of the gunman. Mr Short said: “I ran up to the old guy, the first bullet missed the guy and I pulled him behind the column.”

He managed to get the old man into a room and hid under a chair before the attacker ‘launched a grenade and killed two or three people to the left of me’.