Warwick native safe as violence erupts in Paris

Paris Terrorism Vigil,_227423

People attend a vigil outside the French consulate in Montreal, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered “all of Canada’s support” to France on Friday night in the wake of “deeply worrying” terrorist attacks in Paris. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press via AP)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — After a horrific outbreak of violence in Paris, social media was abuzz and Twitter users were some of the first to post photos and images from the scene.

A Rhode Island native was in the mix, tweeting updates from his Parisian vacation.

Warwick native Matt McDermott tweeted about his surroundings as the attacks happened nearby.

But the rumors became real quickly.

Videos, like one taken inside the Stade De France Stadium as an explosion rang out, became viral all over social media. France defeated Germany 2-0 in a friendly soccer match that was overshadowed by the events of the night.

Cell phone video captured police drawing their weapons and storming the streets – a scene McDermott saw first-hand.

On Facebook, the California-based band Eagles of Death Metal posted about how they were trying to account for all of their band members – after more than 100 people were held hostage in the venue they were performing in.

After officials reported all attacks to be over, Facebook stepped in and, using the notification tool, gave members in the area the option to check is as “safe.”

In wake of the attacks, Massachusetts State Police said it is heightening security in certain areas, while troopers are on the lookout for any suspicious activity.

If you want to check on loved ones in Paris, you’re asked not to call Embassy Paris, but rather the U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs at 1-888-407-4747.Local officials react

Several Rhode Island politicians and officials offered their condolences Friday following the deadly attacks.Senator Jack Reed:

“We are still gathering the facts and collecting intelligence on the scope of the heinous, coordinated terrorist attacks that were carried out in Paris.  But one thing is certain and that is our resolve to support our friends and allies and bring the perpetrators to justice.  Tonight, the civilized, free world stands with France, just as France stood with us in the wake of 9/11.

We must remain vigilant in the face of evolving threats around the world, while at the same time never bending to fear and intimidation.  I am confident we will hold those responsible for these cowardly attacks accountable.  Just as I am confident that the values of freedom, liberty, and, as our French friends say, “égalité and fraternité,” will triumph over hatred and extremism.”Congressman David Cicilline:

“Like all Americans, I was outraged to learn of the horrific and despicable terrorist attacks in Paris today. These violent acts were designed to strike fear in the hearts of all who value liberty, equality, and fraternity, but they will not succeed.”Senator Sheldon Whitehouse:

“My thoughts and prayers for comfort, justice, and peace are with #Paris and all of France tonight.”Congressman Jim Langevin: 

“The news out of Paris is an absolute tragedy for France and for the entire world. My heart breaks for our friends overseas and for all of the people affected by the attacks. My thoughts go out to the families of the victims, and I continue to pray for the first responders who have been working tirelessly and courageously to get the crisis under control.

It will be days before we fully understand what transpired tonight and likely before we can know for certain who is responsible, but I hope our allies in France take comfort that we stand united with them.”

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