Meet the American Heroes Who Stopped Train Attack
3 buddies from the US happened to be traveling in Europe
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2015 9:12 AM CDT
Anthony Sadler, left, and Alek Skarlatos. A third American, Spencer Stone, remains hospitalized with stab wounds.   (AP Photo /APTN)
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(Newser) – The details on how three Americans helped foil an apparent terror attack aboard a train bound for France yesterday are firming up, and they're pretty dramatic. The three are Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos, and Anthony Sadler, all in their early 20s and friends since middle school, reports the Washington Post. Stone, who is in the US Air Force, remains hospitalized with stab wounds. The three confronted and subdued a heavily armed man and are being hailed as heroes as a result—they're expected to meet the French president today. Most accounts now agree that the violence began when a French passenger trying to enter a bathroom encountered the gunman leaving it, and the gunman fired a shot. That alerted the Americans to the trouble, which leads to this amazing quote from Sadler to the AP:

  • "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 boxcutter and slices Spencer a few times. And the three of us beat him until he was unconscious."
Another passenger, Briton Chris Norton is credited with helping tie up the assailant, who has been identified as a 26-year-old Moroccan with possible ties to the Islamic State. He reportedly traveled to Syria last year. Skarlatos is an Oregon National Guardsman and Sadler is a student at Sacramento State. Another passenger, a dual French-American citizen, is hospitalized with a gunshot wound.