Train hero Airman Stone reported stabbed
WASHINGTON — U.S. Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone, one of three Americans hailed as a hero after helping thwart a gunman on a Paris-bound train in August, was stabbed early Thursday morning in Sacramento, Calif., during an alcohol-related fight, police said.
Stone, 23, was stabbed multiple times in the upper body during the altercation that occurred at about 12:45 a.m. near 21st and K streets, said Ken Bernard, deputy chief for the Sacramento Police Department. Stone was taken to a local hospital with “non-life-threatening but serious injuries,” he added.
During the summer, Stone and two of his childhood friends — Army Spc. Alek Skarlatos and college student Anthony Sadler — were vacationing in Europe when they took down a gunman and stopped a terror attack on the train.
Ayoub El-Khazzani, a Moroccan national with ties to radical Islam, had boarded the train with an AK-47 assault rifle, a pistol and a box cutter. Stone suffered a cut thumb and other injuries in stopping the train attack.
Bernard said Stone was not targeted in the Thursday’s attack for his military service or his actions aboard the train in France.
“This incident is a very unfortunate altercation between two groups of folks who were enjoying the nightlife in Sacramento,” the deputy chief said.
Police are searching for suspects in the attack. Bernard described them as “two male Asian adults … wearing white T-shirts and blue jeans.” They fled the scene in a 2009-2012 dark-colored Toyota Camry, the deputy chief said.
Stone, of Carmichael, Calif., was awarded last month with the Air Force’s highest award for non-combat valor, the Airman’s medal, and the Purple Heart for his role in subduing El-Khazzani on the train.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter described the actions in France by Stone, Skarlatos and Sadler as “an amazing story, right out of a movie.”
Stone is assigned to Travis Air Force Base, outside of Sacramento.
“Spencer Stone is a very special Airman,” Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Karns said. “His story and selflessness has inspired so many people. His instinct for helping others is well chronicled. Our hope is for his speedy recovery.”
The Associated Press contributed to this story.