Details Emerge About Gunman on Board Paris-Bound Train

Authorities are learning more about the potentially deadly attack that was stopped by three Americans on board. French President Francois Hollande is expected to meet them Monday.
3:09 | 08/23/15

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Transcript for Details Emerge About Gunman on Board Paris-Bound Train
few minutes but start with new developments about the three Americans, two active service members who helped foil an apparent terror attack subduing the gunman. One of these American heroes released from the hospital and we are now learning more this morning about the congratulatory phone calls from president Obama and a high honor that may be in the works from the French government. ABC's David Wright is in Paris with the latest. David, good morning to you. Reporter: Good morning, Cecilia and Dan. It really is a remarkable story. Tomorrow morning the French president plans to thank those three Americans personally. Their act of harrowism prevented mass carnage on a train bound for Paris. The French are hailing them as heroes even as new details emerge about the suspect. The suspect seen hog tied on the train in this cell phone video identified now as 25-year-old Ayoub el khazzani, born in Morocco he was known as a potential threat. France placed him on a security watch list in February of 2014. According to the French interior minister Spanish authorities had informed them el khazzani had joined the radical movement and may have been a foreign fighter in Syria. He emerged from a bathroom on the train wielding this ak-47 assault rifle armed with a Lugar pistol, a box cutter and at least nine extra cartridges of ammunition. I just looked over at Spencer and said, let's go. Go. Reporter: Army national guardsman alek skarlatos and his friends leapt into action. Spencer got to the guy first. Grabbed the guy by the neck and everybody just started beating on the guy while Spencer held the choke hold until he went unconscious. Reporter: Airman first class Spencer stone tackled el khazzani disarming him. Witnesses say the gunman fought back fiercely with the box cutter. As Spencer is wrestling the gun away, he gets cut with the box cutter multiple times by the gunman. Reporter: Spencer seen here leaving the hospital Saturday suffered wounds to the neck and hand, almost losing his thumb. Even though he was injured, witnesses say he rendered first aid to another passenger who had been shot. President Obama called to commend and congratulate them for their courage and quick action. I didn't even have time to think. I didn't even realize or fully comprehend what was going on. Reporter: Skarlatos's father emotional about his son's heroics. We feel grateful is everyone is alive and Spencer is doing okay in the hospital and that everyone is -- can off that train and go to their homes and meet their families. Reporter: The suspect has not yet been charged. Under French law the authorities can hold him for up to 96 hours without charge. This country, of course, still reeling from the deadly "Charlie hebdo" attacks in January. Authorities thankful to those brave Americans that scene wasn't repeated this weekend.

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