Tags: train | heroes | press conference

Train heroes press conference

By    |   Monday, 24 Aug 2015 09:51 AM

Three American heroes were presented with the Legion of Honor by French President Francois Hollande on Monday after they stopped a heavily-armed gunman from shooting up a train.

As ABC News reported, Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone, National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos, and Anthony Sadler — longtime friends from California — said at a press conference this weekend that they were on a train bound from Amsterdam to Paris when a lone gunman entered their train car.

"At that time he was cocking the AK-47," said Sadler, 23. "So it was either do something or die."

The gunman would later be identified as 26-year-old Moroccan Ayoub El-Khazzani, an Islamic extremist who may have spent time in Syria according to French and Spanish authorities.

"Spencer got to the guy first and grabbed the guy by the neck," said Skarlatos, 22, according to the BBC. That's when the attacker reached for his box cutter and other weapons.

"I grabbed the handgun, got that away from the guy and threw it. Then I grabbed the AK-47, which was at his feet, and started muzzle-bumping him in the head with it. Everybody just started beating the guy while Spencer held the chokehold until he went unconscious."

British man Chris Norman was injured along with Stone while subduing the gunman. Stone suffered a black eye, and underwent surgery for his thumb, which was slashed by the box cutter.

Mark Moogalian, a Frenchman injured in the incident, was aided by Stone after being shot.

"When the gunman came out of the bathroom another person engaged him and was thrown to the side, Mark then jumped in and after a struggle was able to get the AK-47 away," said a statement from Moogalian's family.

"Mark then turned around to get his wife out of harm’s way but did not realize the gunman still had a pistol. He shot Mark in the back, the bullet went through his lung and exited his collarbone. When Mark went down that’s when the gunman retrieved the AK-47. Mark was able to get to another car and that's when others rushed in."

During Monday's ceremony to present the American trio with France's highest honor, President Hollande said, "Here are four men who with the help of others acted not just to save their own lives but who also came to help others and saved the lives of others."

He added that the actions of passengers prevented "true carnage" aboard the train.



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Three American heroes were presented with the Legion of Honor by French President Francois Hollande on Monday after they stopped a heavily-armed gunman from shooting up a train.
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2015-51-24
Monday, 24 Aug 2015 09:51 AM
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