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France train shooting: US soldiers speak of the moment they stopped gunman and 'beat him until he was unconscious' - Europe - World - The Independent

A US soldier has spoken of the moment he and a childhood friend prevented a gunman from opening fire on a passenger train from Amsterdam to northern France.

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.
READ MORE: Three injured after gunman opens fire on Amsterdam to Paris train

Mr Sadler, a senior at Sacramento State University, told The Associated Press of his friends' exploits: "Spencer makes first contact, he tackles the guy, Alek wrestles the gun away from him, and the gunman pulls out a boxcutter and slices Spencer a few times.

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

"The gunman never said a word."

It came as amateur video showing the aftermath of the struggle emerged.

Another passenger helped the men tie up the assailant while Mr Skalatos — who recently returned from a tour in Afghanistan — disabled the gunman’s weapons.

"In the aftermath, we saw that a man's throat had been split and he was bleeding profusely," Mr Sadler said.

Airman Mr Stone, who was injured himself in the hand during the tussle, performed first aid on the unidentified passenger.

Mr Sadler continued: "Spencer, who has some paramedics training, just clogged up his neck so he wouldn't die. This is all in the midst of Spencer bleeding profusely himself.”

"It was just really heroic of him to do something like that."

Mr Skarlatos added: "We just did what we had to do. You either run away or fight. We chose to fight and got lucky and didn't die."

The attack has been condemned by French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuv, who called it “an attack of barbaric violence”, and expressed his "gratitude and admiration" for the men’s actions.

A White House spokesperson also praised the men's actions.

“The President expressed his profound gratitude for the courage and quick thinking of several passengers, including US service members, who selflessly subdued the attacker, " a statement said.

“While the investigation into the attack is in its early stages, it is clear that their heroic actions may have prevented a far worse tragedy."

The three were met off the train, which was travelling through Belgium at the time of the attack, along with around 500 other passengers at the next station in Arras by French authorities.

Three people were injured in the attack, including a French actor who is believed to have hurt himself as he sounded the alarm.

US authorities confirmed that an American citizen had been injured but that their wounds were not life-threatening.
 

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Spellign Bee Champ
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Well done, guys!
____________________________
"See, you do NOT need guns to subdue an ARMED terrorist." :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
French bravery:
He said, "We heard passengers shouting in English, 'He's firing, he's firing. He has a Kalashnikov.'" He said he saw train personnel running down the corridor to take refuge in their work car, and claimed they locked the door and refused to answer desperate knocks.
 

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I have read three different accounts of exactly what happened...but the end result was always the same. Really brave guys.
 

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Good job guys. 1 BIG ATTABOY due.
 

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Ausmerican.
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Here's a video after the attacker was subdued, I think the Muslim terrorist is moaning:
I certainly hope so mate.....
 

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As long as we have young people like this in our country, I remain optimistic about our future. Thank you for representing America so well!
 

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I have got to figure out a way to work "muzzle thumping" into a conversation this week. I love that!
 

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Viceroy 🟩🟩🟩
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If you have a Roku, the British "Sky" news app has a couple minutes of video interview with one of the Americans who saved the day, including several interesting details about the weapons.

He says after the terrorist was unconscious he took the AK and checked nearby cars to see if there were more of them. Smart. Also, when he cleared the weapons he found that the AK had a live round in the chamber with a primer strike. He said that if it wouldn't have been for a dud primer, things could have gone much worse.

He also said the mag had been dropped from the pistol before they got to the guy and after a shot had been fired. He postulated that the guy accidentally dropped the mag out.

The report sounded credible; you could tell the American was knowledgeable about weaponry. The terrorist ..... not so much. :)
 

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Wow, sounds like they handed it to him and said point this end that way and pull this.
 

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Another thought comes to mind about oui, oui! Those railroad dudes must have been oui ouiing in their pants. WELL DONE American gentlemen. Well done!
 

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Good job Guys!
 
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