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Two U.S. Service Men And College Student Thrwarted Terror Attack By Taking Down Gunman

August 22, 2015  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Two U.S. Service Men And College Student Thrwarted Terror Attack By Taking Down Gunman

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Three heroic Americans thwarted a possible terror attack Friday when they subdued a gunman on a high-speed passenger train in northern France, according to witnesses and authorities.

The fearless heroes — two U.S. service members and a college student — overpowered the suspect, armed with a handgun, an automatic rifle and a knife, after shots rang out on board the train carrying 554 passengers near the France-Belgium border.

“We heard a gunshot, and we heard glass breaking behind us, and saw a train employee sprint past us down the aisle,” said Anthony Sadler, a senior at Sacramento State University. He and two traveling companions, Spencer Stone, an Air Force member from Sacramento, Calif., and National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos of Roseburg, Ore., brought down the suspect.

“As he was cocking it to shoot it, Alek just yells, ‘Spencer, go!’ And Spencer runs down the aisle,” Sadler said. “Spencer makes first contact, he tackles the guy, Alek wrestles gun away from him, and the gunman pulls out a box cutter and slices Spencer a few times. And the three of us beat him until he was unconscious.”

france-train-shots

French police stand over a man as he’s apprehended on the platform at the Arras train station in northern France.

“The gunman never said a word,” he added. Sadler said Stone, though he was bleeding, managed to help another passenger who had been wounded in the throat.

Two others were also hurt aboard the Thalys train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris around 5:45 p.m.

The suspect was described as a 26-year-old Moroccan national, according to Sliman Hamzi, an official with the police union Alliance, who spoke on French television.

The man was known to European counterterrorism agencies for his radical jihadist views, a senior European counterterrorism official told CNN.

French actor Jean-Hugues Anglade was on board the train and injured when breaking a window to reach an alarm.

French actor Jean-Hugues Anglade was on board the train and injured when breaking a window to reach an alarm.

Without their sangfroid we could have been confronted with a terrible drama.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, speaking in Arras in northern France where the suspect was detained, said Stone and Skarlatos, who were in civilian clothing, “were particularly courageous and showed great bravery in very difficult circumstances” and that “without their sangfroid we could have been confronted with a terrible drama.”

Following the incident, the White House issued a statement: “The President expressed his profound gratitude for the courage and quick thinking of several passengers, including U.S. service members, who selflessly subdued the attacker.”

Passengers described a chaotic scene as the heroes struggled with the gunman.

Christina Cathleen Coons, a social worker from New York who was traveling in France and was on the train, said she heard gunfire, dived under her seat and opened a pull-down table.

Gun cartridges and a backpack are seen on the ground outside the train station in Arras, France.

Gun cartridges and a backpack are seen on the ground outside the train station in Arras, France.

“I saw the man who was shot in the neck stumble,” she told NBC News over Facebook. “He dropped his bloody duffel bag right in the seat across from me, and he collapsed to the floor.”

While she hid below the seat, Coons said, she thought to herself, “Maybe I’m next. Is this train going to get shot up?”

Jarring photos at the scene showed a bloody man being wheeled out of the train station on a stretcher.

Another showed police officers standing over what appears to be at least eight magazine clips near a black backpack.

Investigators from France’s special anti-terror police were leading the investigation of the near-fatal attack, a spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutor’s office said.

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