So much tragedy has come out of the three-day Sept. 21 mall shooting in Nairobi, Kenya, but one American man’s quick thinking saved his entire family’s life. Read on for his brave story of survival.
Nick Handler, a Pennsylvania native who works in Kenya, saved his 2-year-old daughter, Julia, after hiding in a mall storage room with about 40 other people as Al Qaeda-affiliated gunmen went on a terrifying shooting spree at the Westgate shopping mall. His wife, Lyndsay, was also in the mall during the incident, and she also managed to escape unharmed.
Kenyan Mall Massacre — American Family & Pregnant Woman Escape Unharmed
Nick was at a mall cafe with his 2-year-old daughter when he heard gunshots. His quick actions saved his daughter’s life.
“All of a sudden I just heard a loud explosion followed by a few gunshots, and I just immediately just grabbed her and luckily it was right by the door and we were able to sprint out of the cafe and ran across the mall,” Nick told ABC News.
Nick and Julia hid out for 90 minutes before they were able to safely escape.
Nick’s wife, Lyndsay — 8 months pregnant with their second child — was separated from the family, shopping on another floor of the mall. ”The most terrifying thing for her [was] just not being able to be with us and having no idea what was happening,” Nick said.
She was able to escape separately. When the young family were reunited, they could not contain their emotion.
“Just the look on her face, the emotion and I think all of the fear and the uncertainty that had been building up. She just let it all out. It was a pretty emotional moment for all of us,” Nick told ABC.
68 Killed In Kenyan Mall Massacre
The latest police reports reveal that at least 68 people were killed in the massacre, and more than 175 people were wounded. 30 Americans were at the Westgate Mall at the time of the attack, and all were evacuated.
WATCH: Nairobi: At Least 68 Dead In Kenyan Shopping Mall Terror Attack
– Kristine Hope Kowalski