Paris attacks: Briton killed in front of ex-girlfriend at Bataclan; death crushes girlfriend

Polina Buckley, a friend of Eagles Of Death Metal's merchandise manager Nick Alexander (in photograph), cries as she sits near a makeshift memorial outside the Consulate of France in New York on Nov 14, 2015
Polina Buckley, a friend of Eagles Of Death Metal's merchandise manager Nick Alexander (in photograph), cries as she sits near a makeshift memorial outside the Consulate of France in New York on Nov 14, 2015 PHOTO: REUTERS

Briton Nick Alexander, one of the 89 people killed in Paris' Bataclan concert hall, was among the first to be identified in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks that rocked the French capital last Friday (Nov 13).

The tragic tale of the 36-year-old, who hails from the town of Colchester in Essex, was reported extensively in the British media after a poignant search for him was started on social media.

Ms Polina Buckley, who described herself as Mr Alexander's girlfriend, had revived her dormant Twitter account and sent out two panicky messages on Saturday in an attempt to locate him.

"Someone please help me find my boyfriend Nick Alexander. Merch guy for EODM #ParisAttacks #Bataclan," she wrote in her first tweet.

She then attached a photo of Mr Alexander in her second tweet.

Details later emerged that Mr Alexander, who was manning the table that sold merchandise of Californian band Eagles of Death Metal, had met up with an ex-girlfriend - 49-year-old Helen Wilson - at the Bataclan before the attack took place.

 

Ms Wilson, an American expatriate who runs a catering company, told British newspapers that Mr Alexander had called her the night before the concert to arrange a meeting as he happened to be Paris.

"I went to see him and we spent a big part of the night talking about the past," said the New Orleans native, who revealed that she was attached to Mr Alexander "many years ago and it didn't work out".

"I was so happy to be seeing him and then this happened."

Mr Alexander and Ms Wilson had laid down on the floor to escape the attentions of the assault rifle-wielding gunmen, but was shot fatally in front of Ms Wilson.

"I tried to keep Nick talking and give him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Then he couldn't breathe any more and I held him in my arms and told him I loved him. He was the love of my life," she added.

Ms Wilson was shot in both thighs and the pair got separated when she was taken to a hospital for treatment.

While it could not be determined if Mr Alexander was really attached to Ms Buckley, a since deleted tweet by the latter had come with a plea to be connected with Ms Wilson, so she could hear first-hand what happened to her boyfriend.


Ms Buckley with Mr Alexander in happier times, back in April 2013. PHOTO: NICK ALEXANDER/FACEBOOK

Ms Buckley subsequently posted two loving photos of her and Mr Alexander kissing on Twitter.

"You are and always will be the love of my life, Nick Alexander," she wrote in one of the tweets.


Ms Buckley kissing Mr Alexander on the cheek. PHOTO: POLINA BUCKLEY/TWITTER

In a statement, Mr Alexander's family said he was "everyone's best friend" and died "doing the job he loved".

"Nick was not just our brother, son and uncle, he was everyone's best friend - generous, funny and fiercely loyal," the statement read.

According to the Guardian, Mr Alexander used to run a monthly club night at the Colchester arts centre.

A tribute night called Peace, Love and Understanding to honour him is due to be held at an unannounced date.