It was supposed to be a normal train ride from Amsterdam to Paris, but three American men found themselves in the middle of an all-out brawl with a Moroccan terrorist armed with an AK-47 and a handgun.
Three childhood friends were aboard the high-speed train: Airman First Class Spencer Stone, Oregon National Guard Specialist Alek Skarlatos, and college senior Anthony Sadler. When they heard a gunshot ripple through the confined quarters, they leapt into action and averted what may very well have been a massacre.
“I saw a guy entering the train with an AK-47 and a handgun, and I just looked over to Spencer and said, ‘Let’s go, go!’” said Skarlatos.
The Americans were joined by British national Chris Norman in their assault on the 26-year-old Moroccan terrorist, who was flagged by Spanish authorities for his ties to radical Islam.
“He had a magazine full,” said Norman. “I don’t know how many magazines he had. My thought was, ‘OK, I’m probably going to die anyway, so let’s go.’ I’d rather die getting active.”
But it was a French passenger who first discovered the gunman, but after a brief altercation the French man fled down the corridor. The terrorist opened fire on the fleeing man and that’s when the Americans and British heroes intervened.
“I grabbed the handgun,” said Skarlatos. “Got the handgun away from the guy and threw it, and then I grabbed the AK-47, which was at his feet.”
Two people, including Stone, were seriously wounded during the shooting, but no one suffered life-threatening injuries.
“If anybody would have gotten shot, it would have been Spencer for sure,” said Skarlatos. “We’re very lucky that nobody got killed.”
The Moroccan terrorist was ultimately subdued, arrested and is being questioned.
The Americans received special medals of bravery from the mayor of Arras, France.
(This article was submitted by freelance writer Brent Rogers)