French train attack hero stabbed in California: officials

8th October 2015, Comments 0 comments

One of three Americans who recently helped thwart a terror attack on a packed train bound for Paris has been stabbed in his home state of California but is expected to survive, authorities said Thursday.

A US Air Force spokesman confirmed that 23-year-old Airman Spencer Stone had been stabbed in Sacramento and taken to a local hospital.

"He is in stable condition," Lieutenant Colonel Chris Karns told AFP. "We are still trying to get the details."

Officer Traci Trapani, a spokeswoman for the Sacramento police department, told AFP that police received a call at 12:46 am about a person who had been stabbed outside a bar in the city's downtown area.

"The victim had sustained multiple stab wounds in his upper torso or upper body but he is in stable condition and is expected to survive," Trapani said, adding that the suspect had fled the scene.

She said it was unclear what prompted the fight and that Stone was the only victim.

- Alcohol a factor -

Sacramento police tweeted that the assault was "not related to a terrorist act," seemingly ruling out a revenge attack over the train incident.

"Assault occurred near a bar, alcohol is believed to be a factor," police said on Twitter.

Just weeks ago, the town of Sacramento staged a parade in honor of the trio of friends whose actions stopped a massacre.

Stone suffered deep slash wounds as he helped to overpower a heavily-armed gunman, 25-year-old Moroccan Ayoub El Khazzani, in the train attack on August 21.

Armed with a pistol, an assault rifle and 270 rounds of ammunition, Khazzani is accused of seeking to massacre passengers on the Amsterdam-Paris train.

Stone was awarded the Legion of Honor, France's highest decoration, along with Army National Guard Specialist Alek Skarlatos and Anthony Sadler, a civilian, for their role in thwarting the attack.

The trio were also invited to the White House by President Barack Obama and Stone received a Purple Heart and Airman's Medal from the Pentagon.

Stone had been due to return to work this month at Travis Air Force Base in California.

Skarlatos, 22, also had a near miss last week as he had been due to attend the college in Oregon where a gunman went on a rampage, killing nine people and injuring nine others.

The 22-year-old says he would have been attending classes at Umpqua Community college in Roseburg -- where he is assigned to an infantry unit -- had it not been for all the attention he has been getting since the train attack.

He said he was in Los Angeles rehearsing for this season's "Dancing With the Stars," the popular show in which he has been invited to compete, when he heard of the shooting and rushed back to Roseburg.

"If I didn't get called for 'Dancing' I would have been on campus," Skarlatos said.

"I mean, it's just absolutely insane to be in a situation like this, especially in my town, Roseburg," he said. "This is a really small community and just something of this magnitude happening here is just very rare and just unheard of."

© 2015 AFP

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