Lassana Bathily, a Muslim employee of the Paris kosher supermarket.
Lassana Bathily, a Muslim employee of the Paris kosher supermarket. Photo: Supplied
A Muslim shop assistant has been hailed a hero after saving at least six people by hiding them in a walk-in freezer at the Jewish grocery store where an Islamist gunmen made his final stand.
Lassana Bathily, 24, originally from Mali in west Africa, ushered customers into the cold store at the Hyper Cacher supermarket in Porte de Vincennes on Friday, where Ahmedi Couibaly had taken a number of people hostage.
The siege ended when police raided the shop, shooting Coiibaly dead. Four hostages also died.
However, the toll might have been much worse were it not for the quick thinking of Mr Bathily.
"I went down to the freezer, I opened the door, there were several people who went in with me. I turned off the light and the freezer," he told the French TV station BFMTV.
"I brought them inside and I told them to stay calm here, I'm going to go out. When they got out, they thanked me."
He slipped away using a goods lift and was able to provide police with valuable information about what has happening inside the store.
The terrified customers were also able to telephone police from their hiding place in the basement.
An image of Mr Bathily is trending on Twitter, labelled Malian Muslim, shared as a symbol of the people united against terrorism.