“Dude, I tried to shoot him,” one man can be heard saying in video footage showing the moments after a gunman was overpowered on a train from Amsterdam to Paris.
Then I decided that perhaps it was really the only time or the only chance for us to act as a team and try to take over the terrorist.
The suspect can be seen lying on the floor on the carriage with his wrists and ankles bound. A Kalashnikov rifle lies nearby.
French police are questioning Moroccan-born Ayoub El-Kahzzani in connection with the attempted attack.
Under French law, he can be held for four days without charge.
El-Kahzzani, 25, is believed to have boarded the high-speed Thalys train in Brussels. It eventually came to a stop in Arras, northern France.
According to reports, he is known to have connections to the “radical Islamist movement.”
A French man heading to the toilet is said to have initially challenged the gunman.
Among those who came to the man’s assistance was US tourist and airman Spencer Stone. The 23 year old was treated for knife wounds, but has since been released from hospital.
He, two American friends and
62-year-old British man Chris Norman reportedly seized the chance to tackle the assailant when his gun jammed.
“I saw a man with, what I think was an AK-47. Anyway, it was some kind of a machine gun, or sub machine gun,” said Norman.
“So my first reaction was to sit down and hide, then I heard one guy, an American, say “Go get him” and I heard another American say “Don’t you do that, buddy” or something like that. I think that was it. So, then I decided that perhaps it was really the only time or the only chance for us to act as a team and try to take over the terrorist.”
A French-American passenger was hit by a bullet and is in a serious but stable condition in hospital, authorities said.
The outcome could have been much worse. France’s Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, said the gunman was also in possession of an automatic pistol with ammunition clips, and a box-cutter knife.
The Mayor of Arras awarded medals to the men who took down the attacker.
They will also meet French President, François Hollande on Monday (August 24).