“That gave them the opportunity to bum-rush him, basically”, Emanuel said. And like that, Stone jumped out of his seat, ran about 32 feet, and tackled the gunman, who was also carrying a knife.
Alek Skarlatos, 22, was on a European holiday with two of his childhood friends, Spencer Stone and Anthony Sadler, when they heard gunshots on the train. British consultant Chris Norman, who initially dug down in his seat when he saw the weapon, joined in to get the gunman under control.
“Spencer, who has some paramedics training, just clogged up his neck so he wouldn’t die”.
Spencer was cut in the head and neck and nearly had his thumb cut off, Alek’s brother, Peter Skarlatos told CNN. “We’re very lucky that nobody got killed, especially Spencer”.
But Stone, who is from California, didn’t stop there.
French authorities have been on heightened alert since Islamic extremist attacks in January left 20 people dead, including the three attackers.
“With the grace of God, that could have been the end of his young life”, Tony said.
Stone, who has been hospitalized, is in good spirits, but still astonished by the harrowing ordeal, his friends told iTV. “If anyone would have gotten shot it would have been Spencer for sure”. Spencer was reportedly among those sent to the hospital with injuries, but is expected to recover. French authorities say the would-be gunman had an AK rifle with nine clips and was under a terrorist watch for suspected ties with ISIS.
The French interior minister said the French anti-terrorism prosecutor was investigating the incident and that the gunman’s motives were not known.
The attack took place at 1545 GMT while the Thalys train was passing through Belgium, according to a statement from the office President Francois Hollande. A gunman opened fire with an automatic weapon on a high-speed train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris Friday, wounding three people before being subdued by two American passengers, officials said.