Armenian American Helped Stop French Train Attack

Mark Moogalian (Photo: The Telegraph)
Mark Moogalian (Photo: The Telegraph)

Mark Moogalian (Photo: The Telegraph)

From The Armenian Weekly

A 51-year-old Sorbonne professor, Armenian-American Mark Moogalian, has been identified by the UK’s the Telegraph daily as the first passenger to tackle gunman Ayoub El-Khazzani on Aug. 21 aboard the Amsterdam-Paris train.

During the high-speed train ride, Moogalian tackled El-Khazzani, who was armed with an AK-47 assault rifle. It is reported that he instinctively acted to protect his wife Isabella Risacher, and managed to take the assault rifle away from El-Khazzani. The assailant drew another gun and shot Moogalian in the neck, revealed the professor’s sister, who was also on the train.  Moogalian was quickly rushed to a hospital, where he is in serious but stable condition. It is reported that he may have lost some of the functionality of his left arm as a result of the attack.

According to the Telegraph, Moogalian, who is from Midlothian, Virginia, teaches English at Paris-Sorbonne University and holds dual French and American nationality.

Moogalian being rushed to the hospital following the attack (Photo: The Telegraph)

Moogalian being rushed to the hospital following the attack (Photo: The Telegraph)

Moogalian’s heroism, along with the actions of Americans Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone, and Anthony Sadler, and Briton Chris Norman, helped save many lives. Skarlatos, Stone, Sadler, and Norman were awarded the Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest decoration, by French President Francois Hollande. Hollande has announced that he will award Moogalian the Legion d’Honneur once he recuperates.

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7 Comments

  1. Sylva~MD~Poetry said:

    Hero, Mark Moogalian,
    Armenian…born in USA and is French National …
    His place of birth…and nationality… are not so important …
    They are places and papers on this earth.
    But genes are genes…can not vanish …
    and repeat it self along centuries…

    Mark is a professor of English language at the Sorbonne.
    Musician, Lyric writer, Author, and now, a Hero.
    Hero by all means…
    Mark was the first brave, dedicated fellow
    To wrestle the kalashnikov from devil man…
    He is hospitalized …
    because the beast was able to injure Mark’s neck …
    by his left hand, shooting mark by another gun.

    Mark carries brave, artful Armenian honest genes…
    Which we are proud of
    No one should deny …

    Dr. Sylva Portion
    August 24, 2015

    • Catherine Baurhenn said:

      Beautifully written Dr. Portion. Only this morning did I see on an American news channel that a Frenchman was to receive the medal of honor. I went online to find out more information. Depending on the site, he was identified in the headline as American, French, or Armenian. Your poem captures an essential truths about Mark Moogalian. I would like to post your poem on my Facebook page. He is Everyman’s hero.

  2. Levon said:

    I’M SURPRISED TO THE FACT THAT MOOGALIAN HAS NOT BEEN PROMINENTLY MENTIONED IN NEWS COVERAGES AS MUCH AS THE OTHER THREE AMERICANS AND ONE BRIT ARE! CONSIDERING THAT HE WAS THE ONE WHO TOOK THE INITIATIVE AND PAID FOR IT WITH A BULLET IN HIS NECK. JUST SAYING!

    • Raffi said:

      Biased West, the West is so upset with Armeno-Russian friendship that in all occasions they try to depress Armenian achievements, besides for them heroes and superheros only come from the West, it is a way of psychological plan to depress other races.

  3. Gayane said:

    I have to agree with Levon but Raffi also provided a good answer to the question. I am not surprised that West did not have much coverage on this .. West is pretty good at covering and overkilling negative news about Armenians.. That has been proven many times…

    However, this hero is our hero and I am very proud of him.

  4. Vazgen Zadourian said:

    Yes, there is speech freedom but the fact hiding is political behavior of America against Armenia and Armenians as in this case, the whole media do ignore Mark Moogalian’s name, the real hero and in contrary, they raise the names of other two American assistances of this heroic action.

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