French passenger was first to tackle train attacker: Minister
A French passenger was the first to tackle the gunman who opened fire on a train between Amsterdam and Paris, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Saturday.
Paris: A French passenger was the first to tackle the gunman who opened fire on a train between Amsterdam and Paris, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Saturday.
The passenger "who wanted to access the toilets in carriage 12, came across an individual with a Kalashnikov over his shoulder," Cazeneuve told reporters.
He "courageously tried to tackle him before the attacker fired several shots," he added.
The gunman was then tackled by two American off-duty serviceman, who "immobilised him on the floor and removed his weapon."
Cazeneuve confirmed that one of the Americans was injured by a box-cutter during the fight, and that another Franco-American passenger was shot in their seat. Both have been hospitalised.
"Happily, neither is in critical condition," the minister said.
Cazeneuve praised the French and American passengers for their "courageous behaviour, full of bravery."
He said the suspect, who is now being questioned near Paris, is thought to be a 26-year-old of Moroccan origin who had lived in Spain and was "signalled by the Spanish authorities to French intelligence services due to his membership of the radical Islamist movement."