'You're out of luck,' Topkapı gunman told wounded soldier: father
ISTANBUL - ntvmsnbc.com
AP photoA Libyan who engaged in an hour-long shootout with police at Istanbul’s Topkapı Palace last week pointed a gun at soldier Eray Topçu's face during the attack and said “Sorry, you're out of luck,” according to the conscript's father.
Topçu was wounded while on guard duty in the Nov. 30 attack by Libyan gunman Samir Salem Ali Elmadhavri.
Elmadhavri was killed with a bullet to the head after the shootout with special police forces.
Eray Topçu remains in hospital with bullets in his body that cannot be removed due to possible damage to nerves and is also at risk of paralysis, said his father, Hamza Topçu.
"My son prevented a massacre," Hamza Topçu said as he recounted the incident as told to him by his son. “He saw the assailant pointing his shotgun at tourists and moved to unshoulder his own rifle, but the attacker shot him first."
Eray Topçu fell on the ground after being shot and crawled behind the main gates to prevent the attacker from entering the palace but Elmadhavri shot him a second time.
"The gunman walked up to my son, put his gun on his head and said, 'Sorry, you're out of luck’ in English," Hamza Topçu said. "But his commanding uncommissioned officer saw them and distracted the attacker by firing into the air."
Eray Topçu was a short-term conscript at the Palace Guard Company and had 43 days left in his military service.
One leg to remain shorter
Eray Topçu's left femur was completely shattered and his left leg will remain six to seven centimeters shorter than the right one, the father said, adding that his son would have to undergo physical rehabilitation for two years.
"He was shot with dumdum rounds that disintegrate in the body. Doctors said they cannot remove the 13 bullet pieces in Eray's body [because they don’t want to] damage the nerves,” he said.
An X-ray detector was placed at the Topkapı Palace entrance after the attack, but Hamza Topçu said the effort was "too little, too late."