He said he had stumbled upon a weapons stash in a park in Belgium where he sometimes slept rough and decided to use it to rob passengers, according to Sophie David, a lawyer who was temporarily assigned to his case. “So this Legion d’Honneur is representative of your courage and also your incredible act of humanity to save those also on the train“.
Airman Stone and Mr. Skarlatos, both 22, first rushed the gunman, followed closely by Mr. Sadler, 23. The British businessman, Chris Norman, who also jumped into the fray, also received the medal.
“You have shown us that, faced with terror, we have the power to resist”.
The suspect, 25-year-old Moroccan Ayoub El Khazzani, allegedly boarded the Thalys train in Brussels carrying two guns, ammunition and a blade in his luggage.
A French prosecutor said El Khazzani has invoked his right to remain silent after days of “evasive answers”.
He said he helps African entrepreneurs find financing in Europe and was on his way back to France from a business trip.
“In the beginning, it was basically just gut instinct”, Skarlatos said Sunday.
Anyone who has already seen or been trained to deal with such a situation automatically has a different reaction when such an incident occurs, Dr Bouchard said.
“That gave me the impetus to get up and do it”, he said. “There was blood everywhere”.
The men grabbed the gunman’s pistol, but the gunman fought back with a box cutter, the friends recalled.
Dr Michele Vitry, a clinical psychologist attached to the Paris Appeals Court, said: “It would be interesting to know if he does martial arts, or if he had personal attributes that allowed him to react without fear”.
A biography on Moogalian’s website says he was born in Durham, North Carolina, and that his family later moved to Virginia. He was travelling with his wife and children.
“He said, ‘Dad, we took down a terrorist on a train, ‘ ” said Emanuel Skarlatos, 65.
Stone will be nominated for the Air Force’s highest model for non-combat bravery, officials said.
“It is clear that their heroic actions may have prevented a far worse tragedy”, President Barack Obama said. Shortly afterward, a shirtless man appeared with a gun slung over his shoulder.
“He never said a word”, said Sadler, a student at California State University in Sacramento.
Anti-terror police in Paris have 96 hours to question El Khazzani; that time limit is due to expire Tuesday evening. When Stone charged at the gunman, he was attacked with a box cutter. “So were we”. Bullets started flying and two American servicemen, with help from a friend and a Briton, tackled and disarmed him. They finally restrained him before the train pulled up in Arras in northern France.
Stone tackled the attacker first.
He plans to stay in Germany with Stone until he is released, she said Monday.
The man that was subdued by four men after attacking a train in France had been verified by intelligence agencies to have worked in three different countries and had connections to radical Islam, authorities announced on Sunday, as previously covered by HNGN.
Stone, 23, was described by the others as strong and quick, and with the presence of mind to help staunch the bleeding from a passenger who had been shot and seriously wounded, even while injured himself. One raid was at the apartment of El Khazzani’s sister, and the other was at the apartment of a friend of the sister, he said.