By Chris King •
Published: 20 Nov 2020 • 22:56
HERO In Paris Train Attack Tried To Kill The Terrorist But The Gun Jammed as he Fired it.
The hero of the attempted terrorist train attack in August 2015, Alek Skarlatos, an off-duty American serviceman, recounted how he disarmed the terrorist, 31-year-old Moroccan, Ayoub El Khazzani, then turned the gun on him, hoping to kill him, but the gun jammed when he pulled the trigger, stating that the heavily-armed gunman was “surprisingly difficult to control”.
Skarlatos’ friend, Spencer Stone, who was one of the group of three travelling on the train that day, pinned the man to the floor in a stranglehold, until other passengers joined in to disable the would-be terrorist.
The third friend, Anthony Sadler, testified it was “an intense fight”, and that he believed had they not acted with split-second decisions when they did, then “the gunman would have shot everyone in our train car and likely moved onto the next”, in mass slaughter.
Alek Skarlatos stated, “I was honestly trying my best to kill or restrain him”.
These testimonies came out at the trial in Paris, on Thursday, November 19, of the 31-year-old Ayoub El Khazzani, who, along with three other suspected accomplices, faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for attempted terrorist murder.
Chris Norman, aged 67, another of the passengers who subdued the Moroccan, recalled steeling himself and thinking, “You’re not going to sit in the corner and die. I was terrified when I first saw him coming up the aisle, but then I got angry. My first reaction was panic, put yourself in a protective ball and hope nothing happens, but then I came to the conclusion that really I had to move, I had to do something. As soon as he started trying to take out his handgun, I took his arm, there was one thing I didn’t want, which was for him to take his gun and use it to escape”.
His observation of the grounded man, whilst looking directly into his eyes was, ‘I said to myself, what have they done to this guy? What have they done to this guy? His eyes were completely black. He had eyes devoid of humanity”.
The attack on the train, and the dramatic overpowering of the assailant, inspired the movie “The 15:17 to Paris”, by legendary director and movie star, Clint Eastwood, and Skarlatos, Stone and Sadler, starred in the movie playing themselves.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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