Spencer Stone, one of three Americans who stopped a suspected terror attack on a train in France in August, was stabbed early Thursday during an altercation in Sacramento and is in serious condition, officials said.
Stone, a 23-year-old U.S. airman from Carmichael, Calif., was the first American to tackle a gunman aboard the Paris-bound train over the summer. He and his two friends were quickly hailed as heroes and celebrated by President Obama and French President Francois Hollande.
Thursday’s stabbing, which took place around 12:46 a.m. near 21st and K streets, was part of a “very unfortunate altercation between two groups of folks who were enjoying the nightlife” in Sacramento’s midtown area, Deputy Police Chief Ken Bernard told reporters.
Stone was stabbed multiple times in the upper body but is expected to survive, according to police. Bernard said that the stabbing was “not related to terrorism in any way,” and that there’s no indication that whoever stabbed Stone knew who he was.
The airman was out with four friends, one male and three female, and had a run-in with two or three men, Bernard said.
“There was a dispute that led to the altercation,” he said, although he did not say what the dispute was about. “There were conversations, and then it continued down the block where the stabbing took place.”
Police have not named any suspects, but they are seeking two men believed to have fled in a 2009-2012 dark Toyota Camry. They released a blurry image on Facebook of the two men. Anyone with information is asked to call police at (916) 264-5471.
An employee of the nearby Badlands Sacramento nightclub said in an email that Stone left the club about 45 minutes before the attack.
Stone is being treated at UC Davis Medical Center.
A clerk at the A&P liquor store at the intersection where the stabbing occurred said he saw video of it from the store’s street surveillance camera.
“Pretty much all you see on the tape is the altercation. They are in the middle of the street fighting, like in the middle of the intersection,” Bryan Romandia said.
“There’s like kind of going back and forth,” he said, “and then you see a guy lunge and he kind of gets stabbed.
“You see discolorment,” he said, indicating an area on his own chest, “and then they all kind of disperse.”
Security footage is not as plentiful as cameras on the street would suggest. For instance, the two video cameras mounted on a print shop that would have had a clear view of the beginning of the altercation “are fake,” an employee said.
Read more: LA Times