Spencer Stone, one of the American heroes who thwarted a terrorist attack on a French train in August, was stabbed multiple times early Thursday in downtown Sacramento following an altercation in a bar, police said.
Stone, a 23-year-old airman, received several significant — but non-life-threatening —stab wounds to his upper torso, Sacramento deputy police chief Ken Bernard told reporters. He was listed in stable condition.
Bernard emphasized that the attack “was not a terrorist related incident, nor is it related to what happened in France a few months ago.”
The police official said the stabbing occurred around 12:46 a.m. PT following a verbal dispute in a nearby bar that continued down the sidewalk. He said he had no reason to believe that Stone “is in any kind of trouble.”
He said Stone was with a male friend and three females. The suspects, who fled in a car, were described as two Asian males.
In the train incident in August, Stone, longtime friends Alek Skarlatos, 22, an Oregon National Guardsman, and Anthony Sadler, 23, a student at Sacramento State University, became national heroes overnight after tackling and subduing a gunman on a high-speed train from Amsterdam to Paris.
“Everybody send prayers out to the Stone family today,” Skarlatos tweeted Thursday. The alleged shooter, Ayoub El-Khazzani, was armed with a Kalashnikov, an automatic Luger pistol and a box cutter.
El-Khazzani, 25, was taken into custody when the train reached France. French authorities identified him as a Moroccan with ties to radical Islam who may have traveled to Syria.
“We just kind of acted, there wasn’t much thinking going on,” Stone said at a news conference in Paris days after the attack. He said he acted out of “survival — and for my friends and everybody else on the train.”
“He seemed like he was ready to fight to the end,” Stone said of El-Khazzani. “So were we.”
Stone earned a Purple Heart and Airman’s Medal in a Pentagon ceremony, Skarlatos claimed the Soldier’s Medal, and Sadler was issued a civilian award.
President Obama hosted the three men at the White House last month, saying they represented “the very best of America and the American character.”
“They were thinking they were just going to have a fun reunion in Paris and ended up engaging in a potentially cataclysmic situation,” Obama said. “Because of their courage, because of their quick thinking, because of their teamwork, it’s fair to say a lot of people were saved, and a real calamity was averted.”
Skarlatos may have avoided tragedy in recent days. He is participating in the TV show Dancing With the Stars and other activities that he said kept him from enrolling at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., this fall. Last week, nine people were killed at the school in a shooting rampage.