U.S. airman in French train shooting plugged passenger wound with fingers

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
France Train Attack 'Heroes' Describe Ordeal

Spencer Stone, the U.S. airman who helped tackle a gunman on a French train on Friday, also plugged the blood-spurting wound of a fellow passenger with his fingers, he said at a news conference on Sunday.

With his left arm in a sling to protect his injured hand and a cut over his right eye, Stone, 23, along with his American friends, student Anthony Sadler, also 23, and National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos, 22, gave details of what officials said was a foiled terrorist attack.

SEE ALSO: US airman says train attacker 'ready to fight to the end'

"I went over, saw that he was squirting blood out of the left or right side of his neck," Stone said. "And I was going to use my shirt at first, but I realized that wasn't going to work, so I just stuck two of my fingers in the hole, found what I thought to be the artery, pushed down and the bleeding stopped." He held that position until paramedics arrived, he said.

The man whom Stone helped, and whose life he possibly saved, remains hospitalized. U.S. Ambassador to France Jane Hartley said at the news conference that he was "doing pretty well."

Photos from the scene:

12 PHOTOS
France train attack
See Gallery
U.S. airman in French train shooting plugged passenger wound with fingers
Crime and forensic investigators stand on a platform next to a Thalys train of French national railway operator SNCF at the main train station in Arras, northern France, on August 21, 2015. A gunman opened fire on a train travelling from Amsterdam to Paris, injuring three people before being overpowered by passengers, French state rail company SNCF and rescue services said. Two of the victims were seriously injured and at least one suffered gunshot wounds, an SNCF spokesman said, adding that the assailant was armed with guns and knives. The motives behind the attack were not immediately known. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
An injured man is carried away on a stretcher from the train station of Arras, northern France, after being injured on August 21, 2015 when a gunman opened fire on a train travelling from Amsterdam to Paris. A heavily armed man opened fire on a high-speed train travelling from Amsterdam to Paris on August 21, injuring at least two people before being overpowered by passengers. AFP PHOTO / STRINGER (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
Police arive to inspect the crime scene inside a Thalys train of French national railway operator SNCF at the main train station in Arras, northern France, on August 21, 2015. A gunman opened fire on a train travelling from Amsterdam to Paris, injuring three people before being overpowered by passengers, French state rail company SNCF and rescue services said. Two of the victims were seriously injured and at least one suffered gunshot wounds, an SNCF spokesman said, adding that the assailant was armed with guns and knives. The motives behind the attack were not immediately known. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Police work on a platform next to a Thalys train of French national railway operator SNCF at the main train station in Arras, northern France, on August 21, 2015. A gunman opened fire on a train travelling from Amsterdam to Paris, injuring three people before being overpowered by passengers, French state rail company SNCF and rescue services said. Two of the victims were seriously injured and at least one suffered gunshot wounds, an SNCF spokesman said, adding that the assailant was armed with guns and knives. The motives behind the attack were not immediately known. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Rescue workers are seen on a platform at the main train station in Arras, northern France, on August 21, 2015. A gunman opened fire on a train travelling from Amsterdam to Paris, injuring three people before being overpowered by passengers, French state rail company SNCF and rescue services said. Two of the victims were seriously injured and at least one suffered gunshot wounds, an SNCF spokesman said, adding that the assailant was armed with guns and knives. (Photo by PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
A Thalys train of French national railway operator SNCF stands at the main train station in Arras, northern France, on August 21, 2015. A gunman opened fire on a train travelling from Amsterdam to Paris, injuring three people before being overpowered by passengers, French state rail company SNCF and rescue services said. Two of the victims were seriously injured and at least one suffered gunshot wounds, an SNCF spokesman said, adding that the assailant was armed with guns and knives. The motives behind the attack were not immediately known. (Photo by PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
French police and train personnel stand outside the main train station in Arras, northern France, on August 21, 2015. A gunman opened fire on a train travelling from Amsterdam to Paris, injuring three people before being overpowered by passengers, French state rail company SNCF and rescue services said. Two of the victims were seriously injured and at least one suffered gunshot wounds, an SNCF spokesman said, adding that the assailant was armed with guns and knives. The motives behind the attack were not immediately known. (Photo by PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
French police stand inside the main train station in Arras, northern France, on August 21, 2015. A gunman opened fire on a train travelling from Amsterdam to Paris, injuring three people before being overpowered by passengers, French state rail company SNCF and rescue services said. Two of the victims were seriously injured and at least one suffered gunshot wounds, an SNCF spokesman said, adding that the assailant was armed with guns and knives. The motives behind the attack were not immediately known. (Photo by PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Police inspect a crime scene inside a Thalys train of French national railway operator SNCF at the main train station in Arras, northern France, on August 21, 2015. A gunman opened fire on a train travelling from Amsterdam to Paris, injuring three people before being overpowered by passengers, French state rail company SNCF and rescue services said. Two of the victims were seriously injured and at least one suffered gunshot wounds, an SNCF spokesman said, adding that the assailant was armed with guns and knives. The motives behind the attack were not immediately known. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Crime investigators look into the window of a Thalys train of French national railway operator SNCF at the main train station in Arras, northern France, on August 21, 2015. A gunman opened fire on a train travelling from Amsterdam to Paris, injuring three people before being overpowered by passengers, French state rail company SNCF and rescue services said. Two of the victims were seriously injured and at least one suffered gunshot wounds, an SNCF spokesman said, adding that the assailant was armed with guns and knives. The motives behind the attack were not immediately known. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
An ambulance stands outside the main train station in Arras, northern France, on August 21, 2015. A gunman opened fire on a train travelling from Amsterdam to Paris, injuring three people before being overpowered by passengers, French state rail company SNCF and rescue services said. Two of the victims were seriously injured and at least one suffered gunshot wounds, an SNCF spokesman said, adding that the assailant was armed with guns and knives. (Photo by PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Stone said another man, who is French and whose name has not been disclosed, "deserves a lot of the credit" because he was the first one to try to stop the gunman, whom authorities have identified as suspected Islamist militant Ayoub el Khazzani, 26, of Morocco.

Stone thanked the doctors who reattached his thumb, which was almost severed by the gunman, who was armed with a box cutter, a pistol and a Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle.

The three friends, who all grew up together near Sacramento, California, were touring Europe, partly to celebrate Skarlatos' return from a recent tour of duty in Afghanistan.

The men said they had no choice but to react when they saw the gunman cocking his assault rifle. Stone said he choked him while Skarlatos hit him on the head with one of his firearms.


WATCH: Eyewitness recounts train attack in France

Eyewitness Recounts Train Attack in France

Stone's and Skarlatos' military training kicked in while they provided first aid and searched the train to make sure there were no other gunmen, they said.

They said the gunman was apparently untrained in firearms and that he could have used all his firepower to devastating effect if he had known more about weapons.

Skarlatos disputed a statement the gunman made, through a lawyer, that he just wanted to rob the train because he was hungry.

"It doesn't take eight magazines to rob a train," Skarlatos said. "The guy had a lot of ammo. His intentions seemed pretty clear."

(This version removes citizenship of bleeding man in fourth paragraph; in fifth paragraph clarifies that a separate man, identified as French, also tried to stop the gunman)

(Additional reporting and writing by Fiona Ortiz in Chicago; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

More on AOL.com:
NOAA announces investigation into unexplained whale deaths
Zoo staff help Washington panda with newborn twins
Police believe woman's body stolen while funeral home open

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners

Man Suspects His Wife Is Cheating On Him - Then His Daughter Reveals What's Really Going Man Suspects His Wife Is Cheating On Him - Then His Daughter Reveals What's Really Going
Large Numbers Of Horses Are Being Stuffed Into These Crates For A Despicable Reason Large Numbers Of Horses Are Being Stuffed Into These Crates For A Despicable Reason
15 Recall the Kindest Thing a Stranger Ever Did for Them 15 Recall the Kindest Thing a Stranger Ever Did for Them