At least 89 people were killed at a Paris venue that became the scene of a deadly hostage situation after a California rock band played a concert Friday, NBC News reported.
As the band Eagles of Death Metal performed on stage for a sold out nightclub, gunmen came in firing automatic weapons at fans before holding hundreds hostage for hours, according to NBC News.
A U.S. official briefed by the Justice Department told the Associated Press that all members of the band are safe. Two members of the band's crew had earlier told NBC News that a band member died in the attack.
The venue in eastern Paris near the trendy Oberkampf area holds about 1,500 people, though it was unclear how many were inside the theater when the attack took place.
At least 129 people were killed in total in the shootings and explosions, at the nightclub and five other sites, that effectively shut the city down Friday night, officials said. Americans were among the 352 wounded, the State Department said. French President Francois Hollande vowed a "merciless" response against the perpetrators, as ISIS claimed responsibility. Police said they killed one of the terrorists and seven others blew themselves up.
An eyewitness at the concert told NBC News that the shots started about a half hour into the show. They saw two gunman in plainclothes with machine guns firing into the crowd.
U.S. & World
"We all (dove) to the ground, panic, screaming, the firing continued," the witness recounted. "We saw people on the floor and terrorists firing into people as they were on the floor."
The crowd rushed to the open doors and waited on the stairs before a man in his apartment opened his window allowing people to escape to the roof, according to the witness.
"We stayed there waiting for it to be over," the witness said about standing on the roof. "We heard explosions, gunfire, screams."
Emily Hall Dorio, the wife of drummer Julian Dorio, told NBC News that she briefly spoke to her husband and he had said all the members of the band were safe at the police station. She thinks there are other crew members still unaccounted for, but those on stage managed to get away.
"I'm grateful and heartbroken at the same time," Dorio told NBC News. "I'm grateful he's alive."
The band, formed in 1998 in Palm Desert, California, was celebrating the October release of "Zipper Metal" with an European tour. It's their first album in seven years.
Josh Homme — the frontman and founder of Queens of the Stone Age — formed Eagles of Death Metal with his best friend, Jesse Hughes. Though their name is Eagles of Death Metal, the band's sound is a mix of blues rock and garage rock.
Their website lists about two dozen dates planned for the year, including stops in Munich, Stockholm, Rome and Barcelona. Reports indicate Homme was not with the band in Paris.
"They're just really nice, down-to-earth people and I know they love their fans and they're probably just heart sick right now about what's going on," Art Hainey, a friend of the band, told NBCLA.
In an interview in June with The Associated Press, the band spoke excitedly about releasing new music and heading on tour.
"You know, I'm telling you the truth, but this is the coolest job in the world," Hughes said, sitting next to Homme. "Right now I'm sitting in an interview with my best friend in London at Koko's Ballroom talking about myself. It doesn't really get much better than this!"
Hours before the show, the band's bassist, Matt McJunkins tweeted a photo of the stage. [[347946971, C]]
"We are still currently trying to determine the safety and whereabouts of all our band and crew. Our thoughts are with all of the people involved in this tragic situation," management for Eagles of Death Metal posted on the band's official Facebook page at 8:00 pm EST on Friday.
The Irish band, U2, has postponed its Saturday night concert in Paris in light of the deadly attacks. The band Foo Fighters also cancelled the rest of its tour, which included a Parisian stop on Nov. 16.