A BELOVED son and brother was shot dead during terrorist attacks in Paris, an inquest heard.

While the family of Nick Alexander attended a national memorial service for the victims of the French massacres, in Paris, an inquest was being opened into his death, in Essex.

Mr Alexander, 35, from Weeley, died from gunshot wounds to his chest and abdomen.

The hero remained silent, despite his horrific injuries, to protect those around him amid reports the terrorists were killing anyone who spoke or moved.

His body has been released so his family can organise his funeral.

On Friday Coroner’s Officer Nick Hales confirmed Mr Alexander had been shot in the Bataclan on Friday, November 13.

His death was confirmed on November 14.

He said: “Mr Alexander was selling merchandise for the band The Eagles of Death Metal.

“A terrorist attack took place and he was fatally injured.

“He was identified by his fingerprints.”

A post mortem examination took place on November 25 at Colchester General Hospital conducted by pathologist Dr Nick Hunt.

He gave the provisional cause of death as gunshot wounds to the chest and stomach.

Essex Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray opened and adjourned the inquest.

She said: “At this stage it is not possible to fix an inquest date.

“The pathologist has no objection to the body being released so funeral arrangements can be made by Mr Alexander’s family.

“Please can the court’s sympathy be expressed to the family.

“The court fully appreciates what a dreadful time this is for them.”

His family, currently in Paris, issued a second tribute ahead of the memorial service.

It reads: “Words cannot express the sadness we feel at the loss of our precious Nick.

“Words cannot express the sadness we feel at the loss of our precious Nick.

“This is just the beginning of a long road where we will have to get used to the absence of his physical presence around us – a physical presence that we loved so much, that made us laugh, that we loved being with, and always held us close wherever he was.

We will get through this with the love and strength of our beloved family, friends and colleagues, and the support of so many people we have never even met.

“The outpouring of love from around the world has been a great comfort to us and makes us even more proud to have had Nick as our son.

“We will love and miss him forever.

“We extend our love and condolences to all those who have been affected by this indiscriminate act, and are proud to stand with them in unity at the memorial service on Friday.

“Our lives are intrinsically linked forever.”