France train shooting: British hero ‘happy to be alive’

From the left, British businessman Chris Norman, Anthony Sadler, French President Francois Hollande, U.S. Airman Spencer Stone, and Alek Skarlatos a U.S. National Guardsman from Roseburg, Oregon pose at the Elysee Palace, Monday Aug.24, 2015 in Paris. “You also gave a lesson in courage, in will, and thus in hope”, Hollande said.


Stone’s father said he could not be more proud of his son, but also incredibly grateful.

The three Americans, who grew up together near Sacramento, California, were touring Europe, partly to celebrate Mr Skarlatos’ return from a recent tour of duty in Afghanistan.

“In times of terror like that, to please do something”, Sadler said.

Hollande awarded Americans Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, and Spencer Stone and Briton Chris Norman with the Legion of Honor, France’s highest decoration.

But it still exists in much of American society that knows the difference between good and evil and is willing to make sacrifices to defend a free society. Authorities say they found his phone in a bag left in the train.

“What we did for this paper was we collected interviews that Carnegie Hero Medal recipients, people who risked their lives to save strangers, did with different news media at the time that they did their heroic acts and then we analyzed the text of those interviews…”

According to the French leader, the French passenger tried to disarm him but he got away and fired at least one shot, wounding a French-American passenger in his fifties, who is still in a hospital. There is one more person who will receive honor, but Hollande noted that he wished to remain anonymous. Hiding or sitting back is not going to accomplish anything.

Prosecutor Francois Molins said the decision to open an investigation was based on the actions of 26-year-old Moroccan suspect Ayoub El-Khazzani on the train on Friday night and information from other European authorities about his travels and apparent links to radical Islam. And the gunman would have been successful if my friend Spencer hadn’t gotten up. On Sunday a lawyer said Mr. El-Khazzani claimed he intended merely to rob the passengers, though why he would need a rifle, nine magazines of ammunition and a pistol for that isn’t obvious.

“In the beginning it was mostly gut instinct, survival”, he said.

“In the name of France, I would like to thank you for what you have done”.


Stone, 23, said he was awakened from a deep sleep, and turned around to see a man holding an assault rifle and that it “looked like it was jammed and it wasn’t working”.

485079504 U.S.-France Ambassador Jane Hartley third from left and honorees attend a reception at Elysee Palace today in Paris where Spencer Stone second from right Anthony Sadler center and Alek Skarlatos second from left were awarded the Legion