As the train passed through Belgium, a French citizen trying to use the toilet encountered and tried to subdue the gunman, who had the assault rifle strapped across his shoulder, Cazeneuve said.
French President Francois Hollande and Prime Minister Manuel Valls thanked the American and French men who intervened. According to the actor, the passengers were left on their own and many of them pounded on the door so the staff could let them in.
“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”.
He said Alek Skarlatos, a National Guardsman from Roseburg, Oregon, who had just returned from a tour in Afghanistan, traveled to Germany to visit relatives he’d never met. Later in the trip, he met up with Stone and Sadler in Amsterdam to watch the soccer team Ajax. Stone is originally from the Sacramento suburb of Carmichael in California.
“Specialist Alek Skarlatos is the pride of Oregon”, Brown said.
He told reporters: “My first reaction was to sit down and hide”.
French Interior Minister Cazeneuve spoke at Arras, about 115 miles north of Paris, the scene where the train was halted following the attack.
Talking to a French magazine, the film star – who was on board the Thalys service from Amsterdam to Paris – said: “Suddenly, members of the cabin crew ran down the hall, back bent”. He says he was stunned and then relieved his 23-year-old son was not injured or killed. I’m not sure that is always good advice, but in this case it was the knife-or boxcutter, a throwback to September 11-that did the damage.
Skarlatos is also originally from Carmichael.
Sadler was on vacation with his childhood friends Stone and Skarlatos when the man only identified as a 26-year old Moroccan man began his attack on the train, according to SFGate.
Anthony Sadler, who was born in Pittsburg, is being hailed as a hero by both President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry.
Anthony Sadler, an American who was travelling with the two servicemen, said, “I’m just a college student”.
One of the US serviceman said the gunman’s Kalashnikov rifle jammed as the terrorist prepared to fire.
The jihadist is believed to have been radicalised in Spain and travelled to Syria to fight with Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil), returning to Europe in the past three months and amassing an arsenal of weapons. “He leaves here a young man on an excursion to broaden his world view and to have fun with his buddies, and he comes back France’s national hero”, Sadler said.
He was a resident in the port city of Algerciras, near Gibraltar, before he went to France to live in March past year.
He said he helps African entrepreneurs find financing in Europe and was in The Netherlands looking for export credits for one of his clients. In Washington, the Pentagon said it “can only confirm that one US military member was injured in the incident”.
However, he also warned: “If people are absolutely determined to create mayhem there is only so much you can do”.
He said Stone had taken the gunman in a chokehold and Norman took his right arm to stop him reaching his gun.
The American men and Mr Norman were awarded medals for bravery by authorities in Arras.
Norman said the harrowing experience didn’t sink in until he tried to go to sleep Friday night.