By David Barrett
PARIS (Daily Telegraph) — The first heroic passenger to wrestle a weapon from the high-speed train gunman was Mark Moogalian, a 51-year-old professor at the Sorbonne, tackled Ayoub El-Khazzani during Friday’s bloody incident aboard an Amsterdam-Paris international service.
Francois Hollande, the French President, has announced he will award Moogalian the Legion d’Honneur, the country’s highest decoration, as soon as he is well enough.
Moogalian, who lives in Paris but is originally from Midlothian, Va., is the previously unnamed man who came to the aid of “Damien A”, 28, a French banker who confronted El-Khazzani, on August 21.
The academic acted instinctively to protect his wife Isabella Risacher, who was also aboard the Thalys train.
He tackled the Kalashnikov assault rifle off El-Khazzani, who then drew a sidearm and shot him in the neck before taking back the rifle, his sister has revealed.