I honestly hadn’t paid the slightest attention to French actor Jean-Hugues Anglade since he had a brief walk-on role in John Adams, the 2008 Tom Hooper/HBO miniseries. I remember saying as I watched it, “Hey, that’s the guy who starred in Roger Avary‘s bank-robbery movie, Killing Zoe!” But now JHA is a real-life hero who jumped into a scary situation with an Islamic wacko during a train ride between Amsterdam and Paris earlier today. Anglade alerted the law by pulling an alarm, and in so doing cut himself with shattered glass.
But the primary hero, to go by all accounts, was an Air Force guy named Spencer Stone.
Gunfire happened between the wacko, a 26 year-old Moroccan guy who was “reportedly armed with a Kalashnikov and several knives,” and two Americans — Alek Skarlatos, an Oregon Army National Guard guy returning from Afghanistan, and Airman First Class Spencer Stone. One of them was harmed during the fracas, but not seriously. Crisp salutes for Stone, Skarlatos and Monsieur Anglade, and thank God no one was killed. Sidenote: Maybe some iPhone video will turn up later this evening? This only happened about nine hours ago. Somebody must have caught some portion of what happened. A news story without footage is fairly unusual these days.
Update from the N.Y. Times‘ Adam Nossiter: “The two American service members who tackled a gunman on a high-speed train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris rushed him even though he was fully armed, then grabbed him by the neck and beat him over the head with his own automatic rifle until he was unconscious, one of them said in television interviews here on Saturday.
“The suspect entered the train car carrying an AK-47 and a handgun, according to the Americans. ‘I looked over at Spencer and said, ‘Let’s go,’” said one of them, Alek Skarlatos, identified as a specialist in the Oregon Army National Guard returning from Afghanistan. With him was his friend, Airman First Class Spencer Stone. ‘And he jumped, I followed behind him by about three seconds. Spencer got the guy first, grabbed the guy by the neck, I grabbed the handgun,’ Mr. Skarlatos said.
“The suspect wounded at least one passenger before the two men subdued him, and their quick action averted what officials said could have been a blood bath. On Saturday morning the French news media, government and social media praised their actions, and President Obama also hailed their bravery.”