Three Americans and a British businessman are being praised as heroes after stopping a man with an AK47 who tried to attack passengers on a train in northern France.
The gunman, who has not been identified, opened fire on a high-speed train travelling from Amsterdam to Paris on Friday evening, wounding two people with gunfire and a knife before three American passengers subdued him, according to officials.
Anthony Sadler, a university student, was travelling with his friends Spencer Stone and Alek Skarlatos, both of whom have military training. Sadler told reporters:
"We heard a gunshot, and we heard glass breaking behind us, and saw a train employee sprint past us down the aisle," Sadler told the Associated Press. Then, they saw a gunman entering the train car with an automatic rifle, he said.
As he was cocking it to shoot it, Alek just yells, 'Spencer, go!' And Spencer runs down the aisle. Spencer makes first contact, he tackles the guy, Alek wrestles the 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.
British businessman Chris Norman helped tie the gunman up, and Stone then helped another passenger who had been wounded in the throat and losing blood, Sadler said.
"The gunman never said a word," he added.Anthony Sadler, Aleck Sharlatos and Chris Norman, a British man living in France (L-R), the three men who helped to disarm the attacker on the train from Amsterdam to France, pose with medals they received for their bravery at a restaurant in Arras, France on August 21, 2015.
Spencer Stone is currently in hospital being treated for injuries sustained whilst trying to take down the gunman, and two others are also being treated for gunshot and knife wounds.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told reporters:
Thanks to the sang-froid of two American passengers, a drama was avoided... [they were] particularly courageous and showed great bravery in very difficult circumstances. Without their composure we could have been confronted with a terrible incident.
The incident is being treated as of a "terrorist nature" and the suspect remains in police custody.
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