Portland residents share experiences of Paris after attack - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland residents share experiences of Paris after attack

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Even though the attacks in Paris Friday night happened half a world away, some local residents have had a first-hand view of the terror.

One Portland man said he was feet away from the terrorist attack at a Parisian café Friday night.

Harrison Smith said he was meeting up with friends in Paris when they learned about a shooting at a nearby café.

Smith said he had just gotten off the Metro when a man told him about a shooting at a café 50 feet away.

“We didn't really believe him at first because we weren't sure if there's some hit or miss translation in French, but then we saw huge amounts of cops and ambulances,” Smith told Fox 12 from France Monday.

He tried to stay calm, but admitted it was frightening because the terrorists were out there.

“I actually wrote a note just in case something happened to me on the metro because I had to make a transfer on one of the biggest metro stops. That was scary,” Smith said.

Smith moved to Paris a month ago to work as an au pair, and he said the attacks are not changing his plans to stay for a year. In fact, he has decided to start a blog to chronicle his experiences in France after the attacks.

Though Friday was a scary night, Smith and others described a Paris that is returning to normal.

Tigard resident Nicole DeCosta shot video Sunday in Paris after arriving in the city on a family trip.

Though sirens blare in the clip, the Eiffel Tower can still be seen shining in the distance.

DeCosta described a heavy military presence around monuments, but said much of life appears to have returned to normal.

“This morning I looked out the window, the birds were chirping, a man across the street was dusting off his front mat to get ready for a nice work day, the cafes are packed, people are smiling, it's truly remarkable,” she said. “I think we can learn a lot from the French people. They truly are very resilient.”

Officials with the University of Oregon and Oregon State University said they have checked in with their students who are studying in France right now and all are accounted for and safe.

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