Family members say Virginia man helped thwart Paris train attack

CHESTERFIELD CO., Va. (WRIC) — The first passenger who helped stop a gunman on a high-speed train headed from Amsterdam to Paris is from Midlothian, according to his family.

Mark Moogalian is a professor who now lives in Paris, but his father says he grew up in Chesterfield and went to Midlothian High School.

(Photo courtesy The Telegraph)
(Photo courtesy The Telegraph)

The Telegraph reports Moogalian was shot in the back of the neck after he tackled an assault rifle away from suspect Ayoub El-Khazzani.

Moogalian’s family released the following statement describing the event:

“Mark was the first person to disarm the gunman.  When the gunman came out of the bathroom another person engaged him and was thrown to the side, Mark then jumped in and after a struggle was able to get the AK 47 away. Mark then turned around to get his wife out of harm’s way but did not realize the gunman still had a pistol. He shot Mark in the back, the bullet went through his lung and exited his collarbone.  When Mark went down that’s when the gunman retrieved the AK 47. Mark was able to get to another car and that’s when others rushed in.”

The gunman, identified as 26-year-old Moroccan Ayoub El-Khazzani, is detained and being questioned by French counterterrorism police outside Paris.

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