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'Just Death All Around Me': Baltimore Man Recalls Attack In Nice, France

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

More now on what officials say appears to be a terrorist attack in Nice in the south of France. Darryl Curtis, an 18-year-old from Baltimore, was in Nice when shots rang out at the Bastille Day celebration. He's just graduated from high school, and he was traveling with a cousin who was working on Rihanna's tour. On Twitter, Curtis wrote, just death all around me right now. I asked him to describe what he saw. Clearly dazed, Curtis recalled a scene of chaos.

DARRYL CURTIS: I just saw a truck pull over. I was trying to walk to beach, and then I just heard gunshots. Then people were just falling, and then people were just running away 'cause (inaudible) chaos was just happening and (inaudible). It was just (inaudible).

SHAPIRO: When did you realize what was going on?

CURTIS: I just saw the truck stop. I think it hit a couple of people. And then all the sudden you just heard gunshots, and then you just heard commotion. Just the French, the European, just, like, running away, and I was running away. I was scared. I didn't know (inaudible) coming from. There was a lot of commotion, and I was just gone.

SHAPIRO: And where did you go?

CURTIS: I went back to my hotel.

SHAPIRO: And when was it that you realized the extent of what had happened?

CURTIS: I was just (unintelligible), and I just heard the police, and I just heard their hospital siren, the emergency sirens. That was just going on.

SHAPIRO: I understand this was a little after 10 o'clock, and the fireworks display had just ended. Is that right?

CURTIS: Yes.

SHAPIRO: What did you see as you were leaving the scene?

CURTIS: Just scrambling, and people were on the floor and just yelling and commotion, and it was just all nerve-racking because I was nervous because I was scared - that I just didn't want to be one of them dead. Like, I was thinking, like, I can't lose my life in a different country. Like, I'm not trying to - I wasn't here in Europe to die tonight. I can't go out like this.

SHAPIRO: Darryl Curtis, thank you very much.

CURTIS: Not a problem. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.