The Latest: Briton who tackled gunman feared he would die

French soldiers patrol at Gare du Nord train station in Paris, France, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015. A gunman prepared to open fire with an automatic weapon on a high-speed train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris on Friday, wounding several people before being subdued by passengers, officials said. (AP Photo/Binta)
French soldiers patrol at Gare du Nord train station in Paris, France, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015. A gunman prepared to open fire with an automatic weapon on a high-speed train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris on Friday, wounding several people before being subdued by passengers, officials said. (AP Photo/Binta)

The latest on the gunman who was subdued by passengers after opening fire at a train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris (all times local Paris time):

5:30 p.m. (3:30 p.m. GMT)

Chris Norman, a British businessman who helped three Americans to subdue the train gunman, said he was working on his computer when he heard a shot and glass breaking.

He said his first reaction was to hide. “Then I heard one guy, an American, say ‘go get him,’ and another American say ‘Don’t you do that buddy.'”

Norman was the fourth to join in subduing the gunman.

Norman told reporters: “He had a Kalashnikov, he had a magazine full, I don’t know how many magazines he had. My thought was, OK, probably I’m going to die anyway. So, let’s go. I’d rather die being active.”

Norman, who was returning from a business trip in the Netherlands to his home in southern France, said the gunman was small and not visibly strong but “he put up quite a bit of a fight.”

3:30 p.m. (1:30 p.m. GMT)

The Belgian government has stepped up rail security after a gunman who boarded a Thalys train in Brussels was subdued by passengers on the Paris-bound service.

After a meeting of the country’s national security council Saturday, Prime Minister Charles Michel’s office announced that mixed Franco-Belgian security patrols would be beefed up on the high-speed Thalys trains, which link major cities in the Netherlands and Belgium to Paris. Patrols and security checks will also be boosted at international rail stations, and more baggage checks will now be carried out.

Police have also been warned to be on alert at major events and public gatherings. Before the incident, Spanish authorities had warned Belgium about a suspect in the country with links to Islamic extremists. However, the suspect held in France has not been officially identified.

2:55 p.m. (12:45 p.m. GMT)

French actor Jean-Hugues Anglade, whose finger was injured “to the bone” as he broke the emergency alarm glass, told the magazine Paris-Match that passengers thought they were going to die “because we were prisoners of this train.” Anglade said he, his two children and companion were in the last car, No. 11, one car away from No. 12 where the gunman was tackled and subdued.

He said, “We heard passengers shouting in English, ‘He’s firing, he’s firing. He has a Kalashnikov.'” He said he saw train personnel running down the corridor to take refuge in their work car, and claimed they locked the door and refused to answer desperate knocks.

Then Anthony Sadler, one of the three Americans traveling together, came into their car and said the gunman had been subdued.

“We were in a bad spot but with good people,” Anglade said. “We were incredibly lucky to have American soldiers with us. I pay homage to their heroic courage and thank them. Without them, we all would be dead.”

1:45 p.m. (11:45 a.m. GMT)

Spencer Stone, an American Air Force serviceman stabbed while tackling a gunman on a European train, has been transferred to a larger hospital in northern France.

The Pentagon has said Stone’s injuries are not life-threatening.

Two officials at the hospital in the northern French city of Arras where Stone was initially treated said he was transferred Saturday to a larger hospital in Lille. They did not provide a reason for the move.

Stone’s traveling companions say he intervened to immobilize the suspect, and the gunman stabbed Stone with a box-cutter. Stone then acted quickly to help reduce the bleeding of another wounded passenger, they said, praising his bravery.

Stone is stationed in the Azores and is from Carmichael, California, according to the stepmother of one of the Americans aboard.

1:25 p.m. (11:25 a.m. GMT)

French President Francois Hollande will meet with several American and French citizens who helped subdue a gunman on a high-speed train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris.

Hollande’s office said in a statement Saturday that he would meet with them at the presidential palace in the coming days to “express France’s gratitude.”

Three Americans, a British passenger and a French passenger were involved in the action to wrestle the man to the ground and disarm him after he fired a weapon on the train, according to accounts from three of them and French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

Two people were wounded in the incident Friday night – an American Air Force serviceman who was stabbed while intervening, and a French-American dual national who was hit by chance by gunfire, Cazeneuve said.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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