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Alek Skarlatos leaves ‘DWTS’ to visit family, friends after Oregon shooting

Alek Skarlatos, one of the three Americans who stopped a terrorist attack aboard a Paris-bound train in August, talks to reporters about the shooting at Umpqua Community College, Friday, Oct. 2, 2015, in Roseburg, Ore.
Alek Skarlatos, one of the three Americans who stopped a terrorist attack aboard a Paris-bound train in August, talks to reporters about the shooting at Umpqua Community College, Friday, Oct. 2, 2015, in Roseburg, Ore. AP

Alek Skarlatos, one of three young Americans who stopped a gunman on a Paris-bound train this summer, would have been at an Oregon community college where a shooter killed nine people if he had not been rehearsing for ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.”

Skarlatos left “DWTS” rehearsals in Los Angeles to be with family and friends in his hometown.

Skarlatos, 22, who spent some of his youth in Carmichael, helped prevent the possible terrorist attack while on vacation with Sacramento area friends Spencer Stone and Anthony Sadler.

Skarlatos of Roseburg, Ore., told “Good Morning America” that he would have been attending a class at Umpqua Community College during Thursday’s attack, ABC News reported.

 

Skarlatos talked to Ellen DeGeneres in a television interview about when he heard about the shooting.

He’s currently an Army National Guardsman in Oregon.

KCRA’s David Bienick, who is covering the shooting, also tweeted that Skarlatos would have had a Thursday class but he had dropped registration because of his “DWTS” committment.

Skarlatos, Stone and Sadler are hailed as international heroes after thwarting a gunman armed with an assault rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in August. French officials said the man was planning mass murder on a high-speed train bound from Amsterdam to Paris.

The gunman at Umpqua Community College has been identified as Chris Harper Mercer, 26. He died after exchanging gunfire with police.

 

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