What started out as a regular trip to the shopping mall for 4-year-old British boy Elliott Prior, quickly turned into a horrifying nightmare when a dozen terrorists with links to Al-Qaeda staged a deadly attack in Nairobi’s Westgate shopping centre.
After witnessing his mother being shot in the leg with an AK47, the boy — instead of running for safety — stood up to the attacker.
"You’re a bad man, let us leave," the 4-year-old boy child shouted to the terrorist.
The gunman's response was mind-blowing. He stopped shooting, gave him and his sister, Amelie, a couple of chocolate bars and set the family free.
Elliot and his sister as they came out of the complex, still holding the chocolate bars the terrorist had given them. (Source: Reuters)
During their escape, the children's mother, Amber, managed to take two more children with her outside the crime scene. The Independent reports that one of them was a 12-year-old boy who was wounded and whose mother had been shot dead during the attack.
Amber, the young boy's mother comes out with a look of terror on her face. (Source: Reuters)
Why did the gunman let them go? John Hall from The Independent reports that the group of terrorists asked if any children were in the mall and when Amber yelled out that there were, the terrorists approached her and let her family leave. "As the group turned to leave, the gunman allegedly called after them saying the jihadists only wanted to kill Kenyans and Americans, not Britons, pleaded with Amber to convert to Islam and begged, "Please forgive me, we are not monsters," Hall reports.
As of Tuesday, the death toll of the terrorist attack was at 69 civilians, while 65 people remain hospitalized. While the world is still struggling to come to terms with the amount of human suffering as a result of the attack, it's comforting to hear at least one story of heroism resilience, and more importantly, survival.