Three Americans At The Wrong Place At The Right Time Knock Out Gunman On Paris-Bound Train Friday

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Sadler, joined two other Americans on train incident

Three Americans who happened to be at the wrong place at the right time and knocked out a gunman, helped avert a potential catastrophe yesterday afternoon, on a Paris-bound train from Amsterdam.

Many passengers on the train weren't even aware that the quick actions of three Americans helped avert a potential nightmare; it was over as quickly as it started.

From start to finish it took about 120 seconds.

The gunman who opened fire on the passengers was quickly overpowered and beaten unconscious by the three Americans, two of whom are members of the armed services, and all of whom just happened to also be passengers on the train.

The gunman managed to wound at least three passengers, including one of the Americans who overpowered him, before he was knocked out.

One of the Americans grabbed the gunman by his neck while a second went for one of his guns, according to the media reports.

President Obama hailed the actions of the Americans as did French President Francois Hollande.

The gunman had a handgun, an AK-47, and a knife, according to the media reports. The gunman burst into the train's aisle from the toilet surprising a French passenger who'd opened the door.

One of the Americans who intervened is a National Guardsman from Oregon named Alek Skarlatos. He was the first to rush the gunman and was joined by his friend Spencer Stone, who is on the U.S. Air Force, according to media accounts.

It was Skarlatos who hit the gunman on the head repeatedly with his own gun, while Stone held him in a chokehold, according to the media reports.

Stone sustained injuries, including cuts, while helping to subdue the gunman, according to media reports and officials.

College student Anthony Sadler, a third American who's a friend of the servicemen, helped pin down the gunman.

The three Americans were honored by the city of Arras, in France, for their quick action; each were given a medal. The men rushed the gunman from a distance of almost 30 feet, after Skarlatos said let's "get him", one of the Americans told reporters.

A British citizen who helped restrain the gunman after he had already been subdued also was honored.

The gunman has denied any connections to a terrorist organization and said all he wanted to do was rob passengers, according to media reports.

The gunman was identified as a 26-year-old from Morocco, according to the French Minister of the Interior, Bernard Cazeneuve.

The gunman, who was taken into custody by French police, previously lived in Spain and in Belgium, according to media reports and had once been under surveillance for alleged drug trafficking while living in Spain.

In addition to Stone, two other passengers were reported injured.

The train was still in Belgium when the incident occurred; the train was then routed to Arras, in France.

The Spanish media have identified the suspect as Ayoub el-Qahzzani.

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