There has been some criticism levied against the three young Americans who subdued a heavily armed gunman on a high speed Paris bound train.
US Airmen Spencer Stone and National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos were traveling on vacation with their friend, Anthony Sadler. Also among the passengers: American born French citizen Mark Moogalian and British IT consultant, Chris Norman.
Moogalian became suspicious when he saw a young Moroccan, Ayoub el-Khazzani enter the bathroom with a large suitcase. Moogalian saw the Moroccan exit the bathroom brandishing a Kalashnikov assault weapon and tried to subdue him. He suffered a serious gunshot wound to the neck.
Stone, Skalatos and Sadler heard the gunshot and immediately charged the shooter. Stone grabbed the shooter in a chokehold; suffering stab wounds to his neck and a partially severed thumb. The trio subdued the shooter with the help of Norman; who secured the gunman with his neck tie. Once the shooter was secured Skarlatos picked up the rifle and checked the other passenger cars to make certain no other gunmen were onboard.
Stone, ignoring his own serious injuries turned his attention to the wounded Moogalian. Trained as an EMT by the military, Stone pinched off the bleeding artery in Mooglian’s neck until medics could arrive.
El-Khazzani was armed with an assault rifle, pistol, box cutter and several clips of ammo. Stone, Skarlatos, Sadler, Norman and Moogalian are credited with saving an untold number of lives on the 500 passenger train.
Days later Stone, Skarlatos and Sadler were awarded the Legion of Honor; France’s highest award.
Here’s where the controversy comes in.
Stone, Skalatos and Sadler were on vacation when fate summoned them. As typical American males they had little in their suitcases but shorts and tee shirts. With little more than a day’s notice that they were to be honored they didn’t have much time to procure “suitable” attire for the event. So they settled on the American staple…khakis and a collared golf shirt.
The couture police were horrified…ripping into the trio for not having the good taste to dress appropriately for such a prestigious affair. Apparently style trumps substance in the eyes of the fashionista.
Give me a break!
There are numerous reports that when the shot was fired the train personnel were nowhere to be found; having apparently decided that discretion was the better part of valor.
I’m sure they were immaculately attired as they ducked for cover.