Video shows knife fight that injured heroic US airman
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTVU-AP) - A surveillance video from a camera outside a Sacramento liquor store captured the Thursday morning knife fight that injured a U.S. airman who helped thwart an attack on a French train this summer.
The grainy footage shows a man who appears to be Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone fighting with several people at an intersection. The group spills into the street as they take swings at one another, and one person gets knocked down.
Stone was stabbed repeatedly in the upper body while out with four friends early Thursday. Authorities say he has significant injuries but is expected to survive. Police say two assailants fled in a car.
Cameras outside A&P Liquors captured the footage, and it was replayed for The Associated Press. Store employee Ryan Romandia says the video was provided to Sacramento police.
Stone, 23, was taken to UC Davis Medical Center. No immediate arrests were made.
Early Thursday evening, UC Davis Medical Center chief medical officer Douglas Kirk said Stone underwent surgery for injuries sustained in three wounds to the torso, but is expected to make a full recovery.
Kirk says Stone was conscious when he arrived at the hospital.
He says the airman has "significant injuries" and is heavily sedated. However, he declined to discuss any details about the surgery or whether any of Stone's vital organs were damaged.
Kirk adds: "I suspect given his history of recent events he is quite a fighter."
"This incident is not related to terrorism in any way," Deputy Police Chief Ken Bernard said. "We know it's not related to what occurred in France months ago."
Bernard said Stone was out with four friends when they got into a fight with another group of people. The deputy chief would not say what sparked the argument. He said there was no evidence the assailants knew who Stone was.
Bernard said he did not know whether Stone was drinking, but others in his group were.
In a statement, the hospital said Stone's family "appreciates the outpouring of love and support" and requests privacy.
In August, Stone and two of his childhood friends from Sacramento, National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos and college student Anthony Sadler, were vacationing in Europe when they sprang into action aboard a Paris-bound passenger train and tackled Ayoub El-Khazzani, a man with ties to radical Islam. He had boarded the train with a Kalashnikov rifle, a pistol and a box cutter.
Stone, who is assigned to Travis Air Force Base in California, suffered a severely cut thumb and a knife wound to his neck during the struggle with the gunman.
President Barack Obama met with the three Americans last month, praising them for their quick thinking and courage and calling them "the very best of America." They were also awarded France's highest honor by President Francois Hollande. The three appeared on late-night talk shows and received a parade in their hometown.
Stone is the second of the three Americans to be shaken by violence at home since their return.
Last week, Skarlatos left rehearsals for TV's "Dancing With the Stars" to rush back to his hometown of Roseburg, Oregon, after a gunman killed nine people at the community college that Skarlatos attends.
"It's honestly the strangest emotion I ever felt," Skarlatos said in a taped segment that aired on the show Monday. "Even the train made more sense than this does. ... There's nothing you can do."
The stabbing happened in a busy area of central Sacramento ringed with bars and restaurants that is a popular nightlife destination for young adults and is generally considered safe.
Skarlatos tweeted Thursday: "Everybody send prayers out to the Stone family today."