American heroes on Paris-bound train: We had to do something or die

The Americans who stopped a Moroccan-born man believed to be intend on opening fire on passengers of a train bound for Paris said they had acted because they knew they might die if they didn’t.

Americans Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, and Spencer Stone, as well as Chris Norman, a British citizen, are all being hailed as heroes after stopping a man armed with an automatic rifle as he came out of a bathroom on the train, according to an NBC News report.

Skarlatos said the man, who has claimed through his lawyer that he was only planning on robbing the train, that he was loaded with ammunition and there was no question what his motivation was. Stone said he was pulling weapons “left and right” during the attempted attack, the report stated. He also didn’t say anything as he cocked his AK-47 in preparation for firing, and the men knew that if they didn’t take him down, they could all die.

President Obama personally thanked the men for their actions, and the local media has generally treated them as heroes.

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