A British consultant and three young Americans have been praised by David Cameron for their bravery after they overpowered a gunman on a train in France.

Chris Norman, 62, was travelling from Amsterdam to Paris aboard the high-speed Thalys train when the heavily armed man opened fire.

He helped US Air Force serviceman Spencer Stone, National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos and Sacramento State University student Anthony Sadler to get the man under control.
Downing Street said the Prime Minister had praised them for their bravery.
A No 10 spokesman said: "The Prime Minister praised the extraordinary courage of the passengers who intervened and helped disarm the gunman, including the British consultant Chris Norman.

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"The bravery of Mr Norman and the other passengers helped to prevent a terrible incident."

Mr Norman, who lives in France, told reporters he was sitting in the same carriage as the Americans when they heard a shot, ITV News reported.

Mr Stone and Mr Skarlatos, a member of the US National Guard, from Oregon, subdued the man as he held an automatic weapon, before Mr Sadler and Mr Norman joined them to help.

Mr Norman told reporters in France: "I saw a guy carrying an AK-47, or at least I assumed it was some kind of machine gun, anyway.

"I ducked down in my seat, Alek looked at what was happening, Spencer looked at what was happening, and Alek said to Spencer, 'Go get him'.

"Spencer jumped up and tackled him and actually started getting the terrorist under control.

"Alek jumped up and helped Spencer, followed immediately by Anthony, and I came in at the end of it all and I guess just helped get the guy under control at the end of it all.

"We ended up by tying him up, then during the process the guy actually pulled out a cutter and starting cutting Spencer.

"He cut Spencer behind the neck, he nearly cut his thumb off too. Spencer held him and we eventually got him under control. He went unconscious, I think."

French authorities said three people were injured, two of them seriously - one with a gunshot wound, the other a knife wound.

Mr Stone was said to be "in good spirits" and "doing great" as he recovers in hospital.

Mr Skarlatos said: "Spencer ran a good 10 metres to get to the guy and we didn't know that his gun wasn't working or anything like that.

"Spencer just ran anyway and if anybody would have gotten shot it would have been Spencer for sure and we are very lucky that nobody got killed, especially Spencer."

Mr Sadler, a US student, added: "I'm just a college student, it's my last year in college, I came to see my friends on my first trip in Europe and we stopped a terrorist, it's kind of crazy."

Mr Norman and the two uninjured Americans were awarded a bravery medal from the local mayor for their heroics.

The White House also praised their actions as having helped prevent "a far worse tragedy".

Mr Stone is a member of the US Air Force stationed in the Azores, and Mr Skarlatos, 22, had returned from a deployment in Afghanistan in July with the National Guard, his stepmother Karen Skarlatos said.

She told BBC Radio 5 Live that she was not surprised by his bravery as he is "big, strong and courageous".

Ms Skarlatos said he called her in the immediate aftermath and sounded "very intense", and she knew he had been involved in "serious business".

She said: "He and his friend are big, strong, brave guys and they love their country and they are both in the military and they are prepared, and so it doesn't surprise us that they were capable of doing this."

Ms Skarlatos said that her stepson and Mr Stone appeared to have heard the gunman putting a clip into his gun or having trouble with it while in a toilet cubicle on the train, and thought that it may have jammed, so decided to rush him.

She said: "They had heard him messing with the gun and because these boys are so familiar with weapons they knew what he was doing, so they took their opportunity and attacked him."

Ms Skarlatos added: "They both ran. Spencer tackled the guy and Alek took the AK away from him and gave him a couple of smacks in the head with it and they tried to subdue him.

"He then produced a hand gun that they got away from him, and then a box cutter or a knife or something that Spencer, Alek's friend, was injured with. They were eventually able just to hold him down, tie him up and subdue him."