The guard, identified as Zouheir, was initially hailed as hero after he reportedly barred the bomber from proceeding into the stadium, reported the Yahoo News. But later it emerged that he was not person who turned away the terrorist.
According to NBC, a Muslim devout and Mauritian immigrant Salim Toorabally, who was checking tickets at a turnstile when a man in a dark jacket tried to sneak past him.
“He didn’t have a ticket, so I stopped him,” Toorabally, 42, told NBC. “I said, ‘If you don’t have a ticket, I’m not letting you in.'”
The man insisted he was meeting a friend inside who had a ticket for him, Toorabally said, but the guard didn’t waver.
Toorabally said he then spotted the same man trying to enter the stadium through another turnstile, and warned the guard not to let him in.
A few minutes later, the man, later identified as 20-year-old Bilal Hadfi, blew himself up along with two other suicide bombers outside the stadium. One bystander was killed.
“I felt the explosion right in the heart,” Toorabally continued. “I knew it wasn’t fireworks coming from inside the stadium. But I didn’t see anything happening in the streets.”
Toorabally said he went to the aid of the guards who had been wounded and helped evacuate the stadium, not knowing the man he stopped was one of the bombers. Only later, when police showed him a photograph of Hadfi, did he realize his brush with terror.