By now most of us know about the American men who stopped a murderous attack aboard a train bound for Paris. Most of us know that two of them are in the military.
Some may not know that Spencer Stone ran 30 feet–a very long way given the circumstances–to stop the man with the machine gun from killing anyone. The Americans were helped by a Brit who assisted in hog-tying the would-be killer.
How did the media cover the story? Here is the Minneapolis Star Tribune
Authorities laud passengers for averting attack by heavily armed man on European train
PARIS — A series of heroic actions by passengers thwarted an attack by a man with ties to radical Islam who boarded a high-speed train from Amsterdam to Paris armed with a Kalashnikov, a pistol and a box cutter, officials said Saturday as more details emerged about the dramatic incident that ended with three people injured but no one killed.
The attacker, identified by a French official close to the investigation as Ayoub El-Khazzani, 26, was on the radar of authorities in France, Belgium and Spain. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.
Officials did not disclose a possible motive for the Friday attack, but Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Spanish authorities had advised French intelligence about the suspect because he belongs to the “radical Islamist movement.”
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. Bullets started flying and two American servicemen, with help from an American friend and a Briton, tackled and disarmed him.
“Without their sangfroid we could have been confronted with a terrible drama,” Cazeneuve said.
The Briton, businessman Chris Norman, said he was working on his computer when he heard a shot and glass breaking and saw a train worker running. The servicemen — U.S. Airman Spencer Stone and Alek Skarlatos, a National Guardsman from Roseburg, Oregon — and their friend, Anthony Sadler, a senior at Sacramento State University in California, heard glass breaking at the same time.
In the print edition of the LA Times, the fact that the heroes were American was clear from the first, but you had to read the jump of the story to learn of the military background of two of them.
I’d say the military training is a key part of the story. Unlike most of us, who naturally flee danger, soldiers are trained to pursue it. They did so and it saved lives.
If you want a good account of the story, with diagrams of the action, read the UK Telegraph