Tuesday 25 October 2016

Hero of terrorist attack on Paris train knifed in US

Nina Massey in Sacramento

Published 09/10/2015 | 02:30

Spencer Stone
Spencer Stone

An American serviceman who was one of four men to subdue a gunman armed with an AK-47 on a train from Amsterdam to Paris has been stabbed in California after a fight near a bar, police said.

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Three Americans - Airman Spencer Stone, National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos and Anthony Sadler - and British businessman Chris Norman fought suspected 26-year-old Moroccan jihadist Ayoub El-Khazzani on August 21, stopping him from rampaging through the carriages.

Less than two months after being presented with the Legion of Honour medal in France, Mr Stone was in hospital after being knifed on Wednesday night.

A spokesman for the US Air Force confirmed the incident, saying: "He (Mr Stone) was involved in an incident and is in a stable condition." He added: "At approximately 1am, Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone... was involved in a stabbing incident in Sacramento. He was transported to a local hospital."

A surveillance video from a camera outside a Sacramento liquor store captured the fight.

The grainy footage shows a man who appears to be Mr Stone fighting with several people at an intersection.

The group spills into the street as they take swings at one another and one person gets knocked down.

Mr Stone was stabbed repeatedly in the upper body while out with four friends. Authorities said he has significant injuries but is expected to survive. Police say two assailants fled in a car.

Cameras outside the A&P Liquors captured the footage.

Store employee Ryan Romandia says the video was provided to Sacramento police.

Three days after the Paris train attack, all four men who stopped the gunman were presented with France's top honour for bravery by French president Francois Hollande.

At a press conference, Mr Stone, who was stabbed as he held back the attacker, said he just wanted to survive and for his friends and for everyone else on the train to make it.

Mr Stone said: "I turned around and he (the gunman) appeared to have what looked like a AK-47. It looked like it was jammed or wasn't working and he was trying to discharge the weapon. Alek hit me on the shoulder and said, 'let's go'.

"We ran down, tackled him and hit the ground. Alek tackled him and grabbed the gun out of his hand while I put him in a chokehold. It seemed like he kept on pulling more weapons - left and right.

"He pulled out a handgun. Alek took that. He took out a box cutter and was jabbing at me with that.

"We let go and all three of us started punching him."

Irish Independent

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