NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Three Americans traveling in Europe together are being hailed heroes after they saw a man come out of a train’s bathroom with a gun over his shoulder in Europe.
What the trio did next saved the lives of many passengers and on Saturday some of them spoke out about what happened.READ MORE: Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony Held In The Bronx's Little Italy
“We couldn’t just let everybody die like that,” said Anthony Sadler.
Sadler and his two companions were among the passengers who tackled a gunman on board a train bound for Paris on Friday, CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported.
Alek Skarlatos serves in the National Guard.
“A guy with an AK entered the train cabin, so me and my friends got down and I said, basically, ‘let’s go,'” Skarlatos said.
The men rushed the gunman, one tackled him.
“At that point, I grabbed the gun from him, and we basically started beating him in the head,” said Skarlatos.
Airman Spencer Stone was injured in the scuffle.
“I think Spencer’s the real hero. He was the first to jump on him. He’s the one who got cut up,” said Sadler.
Stone was treated in a French hospital.READ MORE: Small Business Owners Say Shopping Locally Is More Important Than Ever Amid COVID, Supply Chain Struggles
British passenger Chris Norman said he joined in to give himself a chance to survive.
“What else is there to do? Either you sit down and you die, or you get up and you die. It was really nothing more than that,” he said.
The passengers subdued the attacker, eventually pinning him on the ground until authorities arrived.
Investigators haven’t released the identity of the suspect, but they said he could be of Moroccan origin. Counter-terrorism officials said he’s linked to radical Islamist networks.
As for the American heroes, they said they did what they had to do. Sadler said when they saw Spencer rush in, he and Skarlatos had to help.
“That’s our friend. So once we saw him go, we had to go join him,” said Sadler.
A total of four people were hurt, but no fatalities.
Spencer was cut with a box cutter and is recovering from his wounds in the hospital.MORE NEWS: Man Stabbed To Death In Bay Ridge, Suspect In Custody
President Barack Obama called the three on Saturday and praised them for their courage. The president also wished Airman Stone a speedy recovery.