Three Americans, who subdued a suspected Islamist militant carrying an AK-47 with nine magazines of ammo and a box cutter knife on a high-speed train Friday, are being praised by French movie star for their heroism.
The passenger train was en route from Amsterdam to Paris on Friday, when Ayoub El Khazzani, a Moroccan national presented his weapon, and began what was sure to become a massacre—until three young Americans, two of them U.S. service members, stopped the would-be gunman, with the help of a British man.
CNN reports British passenger Chris Norman saw 26-year-old El Khazzani run through the carriage.
“I then stood up to see what was happening,” he told CNN. “I saw a man with what I think was an AK-47 — anyway, it was some kind of machine gun or submachine gun. So my first reaction was to sit down and hide. Then I heard one guy, an American, say, ‘Go get him’ and I heard another American say, ‘Don’t you do that, buddy’ or something like that.”
One of the Americans, a college student named Anthony Sadler told CNN, “My friend Alek Skarlatos yells, ‘Get him!,’ so my friend Spencer Stone immediately gets up to charge the guy, followed by Alek, then myself.”
Spencer Stone serves in the United States Air Force and Alek Skarlatos is a member of the Oregon National Guard.
“The three of us beat up the guy, Sandler said. “In the process, Spencer gets slashed multiple times by the box cutter, and Alek takes the AK away.”
The men, along with Norman, subdued El Khazzani, knocked him out with his own weapon, and then tied him up.
Chris Norman lauded the Americans, but he wasn’t alone. The men were praised for their heroism by President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande, but another big name, French movie star Jean-Hugues Anglade, who was aboard the train, told a more personal tale.
“We heard passengers screaming in English ‘He’s shooting! He’s shooting!,’ Anglade, told the French media, according to PEOPLE. “We were in car 11, the last. The armed man looked towards us, he was determined. I thought it was the end, we were going to die, he was going to kill us all.”
Anglade ended up with five stitches, after he cut his finger breaking into the train’s emergency box to sound the alarm and apply the brake.
He said that without the brave Americans, the others on the train would not have stood a chance against the attack.
“We were incredibly lucky to have these American soldiers. I want to pay tribute to their heroic courage and thank them, without them we’d all be dead,” Anglade said.
A total of four people were injured Friday’s attack, including a victim who was shot.