This story could have had a much different ending if there was an armed hero, like Alek Skarlatos in the room…


Alek Skarlatos gained international recognition for stopping a terrorist attack on a Paris-bound train. He attended Umpqua Community College so it’s no surprise that he bolted from rehearsals of DWTS to go to Oregon to be with his fellow students.

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Alek Skarlatos put his quest for the Mirrorball Trophy on hold when he heard that a shooter killed 10 people on Thursday, Oct. 1, at the Oregon community college where he was a student. According to TMZ, Skarlatos was rehearsing for Dancing With the Stars when he heard the tragic news. The site reports that he quickly left the studio and phoned friends in Oregon.

The American Army National Guardsman, 22, became recognized as an international hero after averting a potential terrorist attack aboard a Paris-bound train in August. Skarlatos, who is competing on Season 21 of DWTS, tells Us Weekly in a statement that he wished he could have been at the school for his friends and fellow students.

“I was enrolled as a student at Umpqua Community College prior to my 2014 deployment to Afghanistan. While I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time in August aboard a train bound for Paris, I only wish that the same could be said for today,” the courageous 22-year-old tells Us. “I wish that I could have been there today to assist. I praise the first responders who were on the ground today in Roseburg as they undoubtedly were integral in saving numerous lives and putting a stop to what could have been more than tragic than it is. My heart and prayers go out to this community, my community, right now.”

Read more: US Magazine

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