American shot in Istanbul nightclub attack says his cell phone may have saved his life – Daily Mail
A Delaware man was one of the dozens injured in the horrific attack on Reina nightclub in Istanbul this New Year’s Eve.
Jacob Raak, 35, is a small-business owner from Greenville, Delaware who was visiting Istanbul with friends.
Raak, who owns aerospace manufacturer TECH Manufacturing, Corp, was one of the 600 people celebrating New Year’s at the nightclub in Istanbul’s Ortaköy district when a gunman entered around 1.15am and opened fire.
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Raak, pictured heading home from the Ataturk Airport, in Istanbul, Monday, said he remained motionless and silent when gunfire broke out at Reina nightclub in Istanbul on New Year’s Eve
Raak, who is originally from Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, was shot in the leg, and doctors say the phone in his pocket might have saved him from a worse injury
Jacob Raak, 35, was promptly taken to hospital after he was shot in the leg. He was one of the roughly 70 people injured in the attack
Jacob Raak was visiting Istanbul with friends when a gunman opened fire at Reina nightclub in the Ortaköy neighborhood
Raak’s cell phone might have saved his life, WPVI-TV reported.
He was shot in the leg but another bullet hit and destroyed his phone, which may have helped prevent damage to a major artery, doctors said.
Raak told NBC News that he stayed silent and motionless after being hit and that the gunman was targeting people lying on the ground.
‘When he shot me I didn’t move – I just let him shoot me,’ he said. ‘I was shot when I was already on the ground. He was shooting people that he had already shot.’
‘You just have to stay as calm as you can,’ he added. ‘I took a bullet.’
The 35-year-old, who said he was ‘probably the luckiest person in the whole thing’, was with a group of nine at the club. Seven of the nine were shot in the attack.
Raak was at the Istanbul club in a group of nine on New Year’s Eve. Seven members of the group were shot in the attack
Raak was one of nearly 70 people injured in the attack. Another 39 were killed – 25 of them were foreigners
‘I saw him coming and he shot us all,’ he told NBC News. ‘Somebody said there were shots fired and I initially did not believe it until I saw the gunman and he started shooting up the whole place.’
Raak returned to Philadelphia to be with friends on Monday.
Raak is a small-business owner and lives in Greenville, Delaware
His brother Michael Raak, of Philadelphia, said Jacob called about 7.30pm Eastern Time, or 3.30am in Istanbul, to say he had been shot.
Raak is the only American confirmed to have been injured in the attack so far.
DailyMail.com previously reported that at three WNBA players were next door to the attack.
Essence Carson, Chelsea Gray and Jantel Lavender of the Los Angeles Sparks were among the roughly two dozen WNBA players spending their off-season in Turkey.
Meanwhile, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that a Canadian was one of the 39 people confirmed to have died in the attack.
The identity of the Canadian has not yet been revealed, but CBC News reported that Global Affairs Canada said it was ‘looking into reports that an Iraqi-Canadian was killed in the attack.’
Urgent phone call: Jacob Raak called his family in Philadelphia around 7.30pm Eastern Time to notify them that he had been shot in the leg
The gunman fired off four magazines containing a total of 120 bullets around the club during the attack
The at-large gunman killed at least 39 people and wounded close to 70 others.
Nearly two-thirds of those reported killed – 25 people – were foreigners.
An Israeli woman, three Indians, three Lebanese, a woman with dual French-Tunisian citizenship and her Tunisian husband, two Jordanians, a Belgian national and a Kuwaiti citizen were among the foreign nationals reported dead in the attack.
Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency said that the bodies of the foreign nationals would be delivered to their families Monday.
Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin said: ‘Unfortunately, (he) rained bullets in a very cruel and merciless way on innocent people who were there to celebrate New Year’s and have fun.’
The gunman also killed a 22-year-old Turkish police officer and a 47-year-old Turkish travel agent outside the club.
Raak has been the only American casualty reported in the Istanbul nightclub shooting so far
Funerals have already taken place for some of the Turkish citizens whose lives were claimed.
Turkish security forces have been deployed to find the killer.
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned ‘the terror attack in Istanbul’s Ortaköy neighborhood in the first hours of 2017’
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned ‘the terror attack in Istanbul’s Ortaköy neighborhood in the first hours of 2017.’
The attack followed more than 30 violent acts over the past year in Turkey, which has endured multiple bombings and a failed coup attempt in July, among other violent events.
The US Consulate General in Istanbul on Sunday warned American citizens to keep their movements in the city ‘to an absolute minimum.’
A statement reminded US citizens that extremists ‘are continuing aggressive efforts to conduct attacks in areas where U.S. citizens and expatriates reside or frequent.’
The United States denied reports in Turkish new outlets and on social media that its security agencies knew in advance that the nightclub was at risk of a terror attack.
The US Embassy in Ankara said in a statement that ‘contrary to rumors circulating in social media, the U.S. Government had no information about threats to specific entertainment venues, including the Reina Club.’
The White House condemned what it called a ‘horrific terrorist attack’ and offered the United States help to Turkey.
TERROR IN TURKEY: ATTACKS IN 2016
On December 19, the Russian ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov was shot dead by an assassin as he gave a speech at an art gallery in Ankara.
On 10 December 2016, a car bomb exploded near the Besiktas football stadium in the Macka/Dolmabahce area of Istanbul. 44 people, mostly police officers, were killed, and over 150 injured.
On 24 November 2016, a bomb exploded near the Governor’s office in Adana. 2 people were killed and 21 injured.
On 14 October 2016, a rocket attack took place on the outskirts of Antalya towards Kemer; no casualties were reported. Separately on 14 October 2016, attacks also took place against the Turkish military in Hakkari, Diyarbakir, Van and Adiyaman resulting in 13 injuries to service personnel
On 6 October 2016, an explosion occurred near a police headquarters in the Yenibosna area on the European side of Istanbul
On 24 August 2016, a roadside bomb injured 2 Gendarmerie officers on the Antalya – Kemer road near Topcam.
On 20 August 2016, an attack on a wedding party in Gaziantep killed more than 50 people and injured around 100.
On 28 June 2016, Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul was attacked. More than 40 people were killed.
On 7 June 2016, a bomb attack in the Vezneciler area of Istanbul killed 7 police officers and 4 civilians. 36 people were injured.
On 1 May 2016, a bomb attack at the Central Police Station in Gaziantep killed two police officers and injured 23 others.
On 27 April 2016, there was a suspected suicide bomb attack at Bursa Ulu Mosque. The bomber was killed and 7 people slightly injured.
On 19 March 2016, there was a suicide bomb attack against tourists on Istiklal St in Istanbul, in which 4 tourists died and at least 36 people were injured.
On 13 March 2016, a bombing in Kizilay Square, central Ankara killed more than 30 people.
On 17 February 2016, a large bomb attack near a military barracks on Eskisehir Road in Ankara killed 28 people.
On 12 January 2016, a suicide bomb attack in Sultanahmet in Istanbul killed 10 tourists.