The radio reporter was at the Bataclan, a theater and concert hall in Paris’ 11th district Friday night, listening to an American rock band perform, when gunmen stormed the venue.
“People yelled, screamed,” Pearce told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Friday on “The Situation Room.”
“It lasted for 10 minutes. Ten horrific minutes where everybody was on the floor covering their head,” he said.
The hostage situation is over and two of the attackers have been killed, according to Paris Deputy Mayor Patrick Klugman and the French police union.
As many as 100 people were killed in the attack, according to Agence France Presse.
After police entered the Bataclan, detonations and gunfire could be heard from outside the concert hall, according to a CNN producer at the scene.
Authorities were able to bring out at least 100 hostages, some of whom appeared to be wounded.
On the Facebook page of the band, Eagles Of Death Metal, a post said it’s unclear where the band and crew are and how they’re doing.
The theater has a capacity of 1,500, Cyril Vanier, a reporter with France 24, told CNN.
‘A random guy holding a Kalashnikov’
Pearce saw two people he called terrorists enter the theater, “very calm, very determined” and firing “randomly.”
They wore black clothing but no masks. He saw the face of one shooter, who was very young — a maximum of 25 years old.
“He was like a random guy holding a Kalashnikov. That’s all.”
Pearce said the gunmen managed to reload their weapons three or four times.
“They didn’t shout anything,” he said. “They were shooting people on the floor.”
He said he was near the top of the stage during the incident.
While the gunmen were reloading, Pearce managed to find an exit. He climbed on top of the stage and went for it.
He made it to the street, where 20-25 people lay splayed across the road — many dead or injured very badly.
Pearce said he ran 200 meters with an injured teenage girl to catch a taxi, and told the cabbie to get her to the hospital.
When he spoke with CNN, Pearce said he still had friends inside. He was communicating with them by text message; they were hiding.
“This is terrible,” he said, his voice cracking. “It was horrible.”