Man Charged With Attempted Murder in Stabbing of American Hero Spencer Stone
A 28-year-old man has been arrested in the stabbing of American hero Spencer Stone following a tip to police.
Stone, who helped thwart a terror attack on a Paris-bound train this summer, was repeatedly stabbed in Sacramento on October 8. Police initially thought the 23-year-old could die but he has now been released from hospital and is recovering.
On Wednesday, police Chief Sam Somers said at a news conference that James Tran is considered the instigator behind the early-morning stabbing. He has been charged with attempted homicide and will be arraigned on Friday.
Somers added that other people have been questioned but no other arrests have been made.
Ever since the stabbing, detectives have been following up on tips from the public. One tip led them to Tran and he was arrested without incident this week, Somers said.
Stone was out with a group of friends when there was an altercation with another group. Somers said the fight started after one of the groups videotaped each other. During the fight, Tran circled behind Stone and stabbed him multiple times in the back, Somers said.
He said that Tran and his group did not know Stone was involved in the fight until they saw news reports.
Tran, who the police chief says has a previous felony arrest, is affiliated with a gang but that did not play a role in the fight, the chief added. He is being held at Sacramento County Main Jail. It is not clear if he has an attorney.
On Wednesday, Stone's mother, Joyce Eskel, said that doctors "had to saw his chest open" to repair wounds to his heart and liver, as well as a collapsed lung, the Associated Press reported. One wound came within a half-inch of his spine, she said.
"He's very, very fortunate to be alive," she 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 also welcomed the three men to the White House where he commended their bravery, saying at the time that "they represent the very best of American character."