UC student studying in Paris recounts night of the attacks - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

UC student studying in Paris recounts night of the attacks

McKenzie Finchum (PHOTO: Provided) McKenzie Finchum (PHOTO: Provided)
FOX19 -

A student at the University of Cincinnati, currently studying in Paris, spoke with FOX19 NOW about the terror that occurred during the Friday night attacks in the city.  

McKenzie Finchum, 23,  is a fifth year student majoring in graphic design in the DAAP program. She is currently interning as part of the university's co-op program at a small French firm, Artworklove, in Paris. 

She said she lives about three miles from the main areas that were targets of the attacks, but works in the 10th ARR where many of the attacks took place. 

Finchum said she was about to head downtown with friends until she got a BBC News alert sent to her phone. 

"I didn't think much of it at first, but thought I should quickly check it out before I get out there -- that's when it seemed to escalate," she said. 

Finchum said she was planning on heading out to the restaurant where the first shootings occurred and that's when she realized how large scale things had become. 

"More reports started coming in about the stadium and everyone was really confused how a small Cambodian restaurant in the center of the city was connected to reports bombs up North at a soccer match," she told FOX19 NOW through text messages.  

She said all the locations seemed to be so random that people were scared about where the next attack would be. 

"It was mostly surreal," Finchum recalled. "I don't think anyone expected it to escalate so quickly and to such a high degree." 

Finchum says she had plans to travel out of the country next weekend, but currently all the borders are locked down until further notice. 

"We are getting reports that everything in the city will be closed down; from grocery stores to schools and universities," she stated.  "The French television stations are stressing that we all stay inside. I definitely know I'm not alone in having very little when it comes to food in my apartment."

She said one of the most helpful tools through everything was Facebook. The social networking site detected users who were in a zone that was close to the attacks and allowed them to share with friends and family that they were safe. 

"It was easier than have to answer a million texts from worried loved ones," claimed Finchum. 

Finchum says she plans on staying in Paris for the rest of the semester and feels that the worst is over. 

"You can never be too sure," she continued. "Either way, with the border closed and no flights coming into Charles De Gaule airport, I'm pretty much stuck here for now."

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