Spencer Stone, one of three Americans who helped thwart a terror attack on a French train in August, is fighting for his life after being stabbed multiple times in the chest in California early on Thursday, officials said.
Airman 1st Class Stone, 23, was stabbed at about 1 a.m. Thursday in Sacramento, the United States Air Force and Sacramento Police confirmed.
"He was transported to a local hospital, and is currently in stable condition," the U.S. Air Force said in a statement.
Sacramento police said they received a call from a passerby about a man stabbed in the area of 21st Street and K Street near downtown.
"It is believed that Stone was out with a group of friends when a physical altercation led to him being stabbed multiple times in his upper body," Sacramento police said.
Stone was out with four other people when the group got into a fight that led to the stabbing near a bar, Sacramento Police Deputy Chief Ken Bernard said at a news conference.
Surveillance footage taken from a liquor store across the street shows a group fighting.
Investigators are searching for two Asian men who fled in a dark-colored 2009 to 2012 Toyota Camry, Bernard said.
Stone was rushed to UC Davis Medical Center to be treated for what appeared to be non-life-threatening wounds, police said.
"The family of Airman Spencer Stone appreciates the outpouring of love and support. Airman Stone is in serious condition. His family requests that the media respect his right to privacy at this time," a statement the Medical Center released said.
It was not immediately clear if Stone was drinking alcohol at the time of the dispute, Bernard said.
"Folks in his party were drinking that evening," he said.
Stone was one of three Americans who took down Ayooub El-Khazaani after the Morocco-born terror suspect opened fire on a Paris-bound train in August. He was stabbed with a box cutter during the struggle with El-Khazaani and underwent surgery to reattach part of his hand.
He, along with friends Alek Skarlatos and Anthony Sadler, received France's highest award, the Legion d'Honneur, for their actions.
President Barack Obama commended the three men for their bravery, saying at the time that "they represent the very best of American character."
Skarlatos tweeted about the Thursday incident, writing:
Everybody send prayers out to the stone family today— alek skarlatos (@alekskarlatos) October 8, 2015
Sacramento police said "assault does not appear to be a random act and is believed to be a nightlife related incident."
"We firmly believe that this is not a terrorism related event and that it is in no way related to the incident that occurred in France," police said.
Sacramento police are investigating the incident.