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‘Wrong Place, Right People’: Heroes Of The FrenchTrain Shooting

U.S. Airman First Class Spencer Stone
U.S. Airman First Class Spencer Stone

A Frenchman, a Brit, and three Americans reacted quickly to the terrorist with an AK-47.

This article comes from Reuters.

LILLE, France | By Morade Azzouz

A day ago he was just another tourist on a train. By Saturday, U.S. Airman First Class Spencer Stone was recovering from knife wounds in a hospital in France, being thanked for foiling what the French government called an attempted terrorist attack.

Stone was touring Europe with two friends he grew up with in California. The three men in their 20s helped overpower a Kalashnikov-toting suspected Islamist militant on a high speed train heading for Paris from Amsterdam.

Among the other heroes of the night-time drama was a Frenchman on his way to the toilet who was first to tackle the assailant as he entered the carriage, and a 62-year-old Briton who still had blood spattered over his shirt as he spoke to journalists on Friday night.

But it may have been Stone, 23, of Lajes Air Base, Azores, who took the biggest risk.

“He was the first one to jump on him, he’s the one who got cut up … none of us are injured but Spencer took a few injuries and he just had no fear,” 23-year-old student Anthony Sadler, told Reuters.

“That’s our friend so once we saw him go we had to go and join him … we couldn’t have just left everybody die like that. It was a crazy situation, said Sadler, a student at Sacramento State University.

Sadler said everything happened very fast as the attacker, armed with an automatic pistol and a box cutter as well as the AK-47 assault rifle, appeared to try to clear his weapon which seemed to be jammed.

One passenger was hit by a bullet, and was in a serious but stable condition, authorities said. Stone is due to be released from hospital later on Saturday.

“I woke up to basically people ducking and then I was, like, ‘Why is everybody ducking?’ and then, when I turned round to look, he, the gunman, had just entered the car with the AK and then I was, like: ‘This is really happening’,” Sadler said.

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Shorty Dawkins



  1. Wow. Way to go, FREE men!!!

    “The price of freedom is the willingness to do sudden battle anywhere, any time and with utter recklessness.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein

    … Briton Chris Norman, who helped the Americans overpower the gunman, said: “Without Spencer we’d all be dead.”

    French movie actor Jean-Hugues Anglade, star of international hits Betty Blue and Nikita, who was also on the train, was quoted as saying by BFMTV: “We were stuck in the wrong place with the right people. It’s miraculous.”

    … The footage shows the dramatic scene inside the carriage where four men, three from the US and one British man living in France, tackled and restrained the gunman….

    … Mr Stone risked being shot to put pressure on the wound of another passenger who was bleeding “profusely” from his neck, Mr Sadler said in a press conference.

    “Without his help that man would have died,” Mr Sadler said….

    … The young Americans had been visiting Europe on holiday while taking the train service from Amsterdam to Paris.

    An intelligent viewer comment thereunder:

    Wow they have prevented a massacre. He had 9 clips ready to kill as many as he could. If they didn’t hear him loading that weapon in the bathroom omg. I’m dreadful for the future. All civilians should learn from this and be ready to act, when they can do something.

    Mr Skarlatos, along with college student Anthony Sadler and 62-year-old British consultant Chris Norman, have been awarded bravery medals by the local mayor.
    Alek Skarlatos (left) and Spencer Stone (right) tackled the gunman and subdued him on the train
    ( )

    … Alek Skarlatos, on holiday in Europe with fellow serviceman Spencer Stone and student Anthony Sadler, said he and his companions heard a gunshot and breaking glass while on their Thalys train at around 3.45pm on Friday.

    “I saw a guy entering the carriage with an AK and a handgun, at that point I ducked down and my friend Spencer, next to me, ducked down and I just looked over at Spencer and said: ‘Let’s go’,” Mr Skalatos told Sky News from his hotel room in Arras, northern France.

    The 22-year-old National Guardsman from Rosenburg, Oregan, and Mr Stone charged the unidentified 26-year-old man, believed to be of Moroccan origin, down the narrow carriage.
    “Then I grabbed the AK (assault rifle), which was at his feet, and started muzzle thumping him in the head with it,” Mr Skarlatos added.


    “And the three of us beat him until he was unconscious.” …

    … “The man was armed with automatic weapons and knives. He was stopped by passengers,” Christophe Piednoel, a spokesman for French railway SNCF said on iTele television….

    … The minister also praised two American citizens who helped to disarm the attacker by saying that they were “particularly courageous and showed extreme bravery in extremely difficult circumstances,” Reuters reports….

    … The actor, who has starred in French films such as Betty Blue, went on to allege that train personnel ran down the corridor and took refuge in a work car, locking the door and refusing to answer to passengers….

    … Three Americans in total – one serving in the Air Force, another in the National Guard, and one student – were hailed as heroes for disarming the gunman. A British passenger and a French passenger were also involved in efforts to wrestle the man to the ground.

    An astute reader comment thereunder:

    “subdued by U.S. Marines on a high-speed French train”
    Kudos to these men and their courage. But let’s give credit where it is due….

    … More here:

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