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France

The mystery man who wrestled AK47 from the train gunman

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2015-08-25

French President François Hollande revealed on Monday the identity of the man who heroically wrestled a loaded AK47 from the gunman aboard the Amsterdam-Paris train service on Friday.

The French president has announced that he will award Mark Moogalian the Légion d'Honneur, the country's highest decoration, as soon as he is well enough.

Moogalian, a French-American professor at Paris's Sorbonne University, is currently undergoing medical treatment for a gunshot wound from the incident.

The 51-year-old was the first person to come to the aid of Damian A., a French banker who initially confronted the attacker, Ayoub El-Khazzani.

He wrestled the Kalashnikov assault rifle off of Khazzani, who then drew a sidearm and shot Moogalian in the neck before taking back the AK47, it has emerged.

His wife, Isabella Risacher-Moogalian, told France’s Europe 1 radio that he “is among the heroes on this story”.

'I'm hit, I'm hit!'

Risacher-Moogalian described hiding behind train seats from the gunman and then seeing her husband wounded.

"He looked at me and said, 'I'm hit, I'm hit.' He thought it was over and he was going to die," she said.

US Airman Spencer Stone, National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos and university student Anthony Sadler also tackled and disarmed the gunman on Friday as he moved through the packed train. A British businessman, Chris Norman, also helped subdue the attacker.

Moogalian lives in Paris but is originally from Midlothian, Virginia, in the United States.

Amateur footage of the attack's immediate aftermath

Date created : 2015-08-24

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