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Hero of French train attack Spencer Stone stabbed in California

© Saul Loeb, AFP | US Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter presents the Airman's Medal to Spencer Stone on September 17, 2015

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2015-10-09

US serviceman Spencer Stone, who overpowered a gunman on a Paris-bound train in August and was subsequently decorated as a hero by the French government, was repeatedly stabbed in his hometown Sacramento, California, on Thursday.

Police initially did not believe Stone, 23, would survive, but doctors were able to control his bleeding, the Sacramento Bee reported. The medical centre said late on Thursday that Stone was in serious but stable condition in its intensive care unit.

“His injuries were significant,” Dr. Douglas Kirk, the hospital’s chief medical officer, told Reuters. Stone was heavily sedated after undergoing surgery for about two hours to repair damage from stab wounds to his torso, Kirk said.

Bernard said police had not yet asked Stone whether he had been drinking before the altercation. Bernard said Stone was out with four friends, a man and three women, and his companions had been drinking.

The other group consisted of two or three people who fled the scene in a grey or black Toyota Camry and had not been apprehended, Bernard said.

“Everybody send prayers out to the Stone family today,” Skarlatos said on Twitter.

Stone, who works in a medical unit, was recently transferred to Travis Air Force Base near Sacramento and has been slated for a promotion to staff sergeant, Air Force spokeswoman Captain Brooke Brzozowske said.

Stone and two childhood friends foiled an attack on a Thalys train while they were on holiday in Europe last summer.

Hero’s homecoming

French President François Hollande said the three friends and a British passenger had prevented what would have otherwise been a “massacre”.

Stone, who disarmed and subdued the heavily armed gunman but also provided life-saving assistance to a passenger who was wounded in the neck, received the Légion d’honneur, France’s highest honour.

At the time of the train attack, the assailant used a box cutter to stab Stone in the neck and almost severed one of this thumbs.

The Airman 1st Class was also awarded the Airman's Medal and Purple Heart by Defense Secretary Ash Carter last month.

Just weeks ago, the city of Sacramento staged a parade in honour of the three friends whose actions prevented a massacre.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, REUTERS)

Date created : 2015-10-08

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