Spencer Stone, the U.S. Air Force airman who helped thwart a train attack in France only to be stabbed in a fight outside a bar in his hometown of Sacramento, was in “good spirits” and able to get out of bed, hospital officials said on Friday.
Stone, who along with friends Anthony Sadler and Alek Skarlatos took down a gunman on a high-speed train bound for Paris in August, was stabbed in the torso several times early on Thursday. A witness said Stone was trying to break up a fight outside a bar between a man and a woman when he was stabbed.
UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento said Stone was upgraded to fair condition on Friday, meaning his vital signs were stable and within normal limits. He underwent two hours of surgery on Thursday to repair damage from the stab wounds and had been listed in serious condition on Thursday in the intensive care unit.
“He is awake, able to get out of bed and in good spirits,” the hospital said in a statement. “He is continuing to recover.”
Police have not said what prompted the altercation that led to the stabbing. Eric Cain, who works at a liquor store near the bar and witnessed the fight, told a local television station Stone had tried to intervene after a man punched a woman outside the bar.
Cain told the CBS Sacramento affiliate KOVR on Thursday a woman was arguing outside the bar with a man who appeared to be her boyfriend. She hit him with a plastic bag, and he then punched her in the face, Cain said.
“The big dude, the white guy, stood up and kinda got in his face,” Cain said, referring to Stone.
In the fight that ensued, Stone was stabbed several times in his torso, authorities said.
“I saw the back of his shirt. I saw a big red mark on the back of his shirt, and another random person walked by, and I just kinda went, ‘I think the dude got stabbed,'” Cain said.
Authorities said Thursday’s stabbing was unrelated to Stone’s role in the train incident and had no connection to terrorism. Stone’s assailant has not been caught.
After thwarting the train attack, Stone and his friends, all with roots in Sacramento, won accolades for their actions from the presidents of France and the United States, and were feted with a hometown parade.
(Additional reporting by Katie Reilly in New York; Editing by Will Dunham)