Compliments of The Daily Mail
A survivor of the massacre in Tunisia has revealed local hotel staff members formed a human shield on the beach in a heroic bid to protect tourists from the rampaging gunman.
John Yeoman, 46, said Muslim staff members from the Bellevue Hotel told the gunman he would have to kill them first as they formed a human barricade between the shooter and Western tourists.
The chain of bodies can be seen in images taken of killer Seifeddine Rezgui which emerged yesterday – about a dozen men stand side-by-side as the gunman, pictured in the foreground, marches away from them carrying his Kalashnikov.
It is just one of many incredible tales of survival to emerge in the aftermath of the deadly attack in which British survivors have described playing dead as Rezgui ‘executed’ wounded tourists.
He told MailOnline staff formed a shield and started yelling at the gunman: ‘You must kill us first.’
The gunman, who openly declared he was targeting Western tourists during the killing spree, was also told: ‘You will have to get past us, but we’re Muslim.
‘Basically, the staff put themselves in the way,’ he said. ‘The staff from the Bellevue were amazing, really good.’
Mr Yeoman said he was told what happened by another survivor at Manchester Airport after the two were among those repatriated yesterday.
Meanwhile, British survivors have described how they played dead in a desperate bid to avoid being ‘finished off’ by the gunman as he indiscriminately shot down dozens of tourists.
Cheryl Mellor, 55, told of how she lay motionless on the beach just moments after seeing her husband killed and having been shot herself.
Rezgui had earlier landed on the shore on a boat dressed as a tourist, before pulling out an assault rifle hidden in a parasol.
He then stormed the beach, gunning down tourists and throwing hand grenades into the crowds. In all, 38 people were killed, with the atrocity claiming the lives of 15 Britons – although that figure may yet rise.
The mother-of-two from Bodmin, Cornwall, toldThe Sunday Mirror she and her husband Stephen initially tried to flee but instead came face-to-face with Rezgui as he aimed his gun at them.
Amidst a hail of gunfire, her hand was almost completely shot off. Bullet fragments and debris tore her arm to pieces, severing two arteries – and when she looked down, her husband lay motionless on the ground.
Although his death has yet to be confirmed, she believes he was killed.
She told the paper: ‘Someone came over and said they would move me but the gunfire started up again so I just lay there.
‘I just played dead. I was absolutely terrified. When the gunfire stopped I kept hearing foreign voices but I just played dead.’
Angela Evans, a great-grandmother from Norfolk, also revealed she pretended to be dead when Rezgui came within ‘inches’ of her as he reloaded his gun.
Describing the terrifying ordeal, the 67-year-old told The Sunday Express she and her neighbour Belda Butauskiere, 49, were relaxing on sunbeds when they heard what sounded like firecrackers.
When they looked up towards the noise, they saw Rezgui shooting down tourists – before approaching the wounded and executing them.