Family of local hero reflects on train attack: "God was there"

"We are just lucky and blessed that it happened the way it did, and he came home," said Karen Skarlatos, Alek's Stepmom.

Posted: Feb. 5, 2018 9:30 PM
Updated: Feb. 5, 2018 9:50 PM

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- The Roseburg community is preparing for the premiere of a movie this week that stars a local man, hailed a hero after helping to stop a gunman on a train in 2015. 

Alek Skarlatos is from Roseburg, and was in Europe with his childhood friends Spencer Stone and Anthony Sadler when the attack happened. The three of them stopped a terrorist on a train bound for Paris.

Alek's Stepmom, Karen Skarlatos, said watching the trailer for "The 15:17 to Paris" brings back a lot memories.

"We are just lucky and blessed that it happened the way it did, and he came home," said Karen. 

Their heroic acts that day have brought them world-wide recognition and the film that gives a front row seat into what happened in that train car premieres this week.

Karen said the film crew worked hard to make sure the scene inside the train, where they take down the gunman, is as accurate as possible. She said they even matched the clothes they wore that day.

Karen has heard the story of what's happened on the train several times, but she'll get to see it for the first time this Saturday at the movie theater in Roseburg. She said it's exciting, but it's also something she's bracing herself for.

"It's very real, very real. His dad and I talk about it all the time that it could have turned out so differently for all three of the boys. God was there, telling them what to do and they did it," said Karen. 

She said it's been a whirlwind for the three men and their families since this happened, but said the men really haven't changed. For Alek, she said Roseburg will always be home.

"He still feels like this is home and that makes me real happy. When it's all said and done, I know that this is where he'll be, staying in Roseburg," said Karen. 

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