Three Americans Hailed as Heroes For Stopping Train Attack

Three Americans Hailed As Heroes By French For Foiling Train Attack 2:48 8 ball pool

Three Americans, including two servicemen, who tackled a gunman aboard a train from Amsterdam to Paris on Friday are being hailed as heroes for thwarting what could have been a massacre.

Airman First Class Spencer Stone, Oregon National Guard Specialist Alek Skarlatos and college senior Anthony Sadler, all friends from childhood, were traveling on the high-speed train when they heard a gunshot and glass shattering.

“I saw a guy entering the train with an AK-47 and a handgun, and I just looked over to Spencer and said, ‘Let’s go, go!'” Skarlatos said.

The three, along with a British man, Chris Norman, rushed the alleged attacker, who authorities believe is a 26-year-old Moroccan man flagged by Spanish authorities in February 2014 because of his connections to radical Islam.

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Two people, including Stone, were seriously hurt with non-life-threatening injuries. A third received minor injuries. Officials told NBC News that Stone underwent successful hand operation, and along with the other Americans, will be hosted by French President Francois Hollande for a meeting Monday.

Stone left the hospital Saturday.

President Obama called the Americans on Saturday to commend the men for their courage, Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz confirmed.

“The President expressed his gratitude to these three individuals for their heroic actions forestalling an even greater tragedy. The President wished Airman Stone a full and speedy recovery, and expressed how proud all Americans are of their extraordinary bravery,” Schultz said.

Norman, 62, said at a news conference Saturday that he feared the gunman would kill them all.

“He had a magazine full. I don’t know how many magazines he had,” Norman said. “My thought was, ‘OK, I’m probably going to die anyway, so let’s go.’ I’d rather die getting active from”

U.S. European Command Commander Gen. Philip M. Breedlove said the Americans were traveling while on leave from the military and “took immediate action to subdue an armed gunman before he could engage his automatic weapon on the train.”

“These men are heroes. Actions like this clearly illustrate the courage and commitment our young men and women have all the time, whether they are on duty or on leave,” he said. “We are extremely proud of their efforts and now are praying for our injured airman to have a speedy recovery.

The shooting happened at 5:45 p.m. local time near Arras, France. Witnesses and authorities said a French passenger who was walking toward the bathroom saw the gunman. The Frenchman tried to subdue the heavily armed man, then fled down a corridor, and the suspect fired two or three shots.

One round hit a man of dual French and American citizenship who was sitting on the train, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said.

Stone, hearing the commotion, bolted after the suspect, pushing him against the restroom, witnesses and local police said. The suspect took out a box-cutter and slashed Stone as they fought; Skarlatos and Sadler, along with the Brit, Norman, then held him down until authorities could arrest him