Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone, who helped take down a gunman on a train in Belgium, was stabbed four times in the chest in Sacramento early Thursday morning, Air Force Times has learned.
Stone is listed in serious condition at the University of California Davis Medical Center.
"A1C Spencer Stone has been transported to a local hospital, and is currently being treated for injury," Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Karns said in an email in Air Force Times. "The incident is currently under investigation by local law enforcement."
Sacramento Deputy Police Chief Ken Bernard said Stone was with four other friends – one male and three females – when they got into a dispute with another group of people that culminating in Stone being stabbed.
"He is currently being treated for what appears to be non-life threatening but very significant injuries," Bernard said during a news conference on Thursday. "The assault does not appear to be a random act. It's believed to be related to a nightclub incident."
The incident was not an act of terrorism or a hate crime, said Bernard, who repeatedly declined to answer questions about how the altercation started. Police are looking for two suspects, described as Asian men wearing white t-shirts and blue jeans who drove a gray or black Toyota Camry.
Video shows two men wanted for questioning by police leaving the scene of the crime.
Police have not yet spoken to Stone, so they don't know if he was drinking before the assault, said Bernard, who added that police believe "folks in his party were drinking that evening."
On Aug. 21, Stone and two friends Army Spc. Alek Skarlatos and Anthony Sadler, bravely disarmed and subdued a gunman on a train from Amsterdam to Paris. The gunman stabbed Stone about an inch-and-a-half from his carotid artery and nearly severed Stone's thumb during the struggle.
Stone later told reporters that he did not hesitate to charge the gunman even though he fully expected to be killed.
"I'm not going to run away," he told reporters on Sept. 15. "I'm not going to leave everyone to die. I'd rather die trying than sit back and watch everyone get slaughtered."
Stone, Skarlatos and Sadler all received France's Legion of Honor. Stone was later awarded the Purple Heart and Airman's Medal. Four days ago, he posted a picture on Instagram after receiving Belgium's highest honor from that country's prime minister.
Stone will become a senior airman on Oct. 31, and he advances to staff sergeant on Nov. 1 in recognition of how he has kept his humility following all the media attention he has received.
"Spencer Stone is a very special airman," Karns said. "His story and selflessness has inspired so many people. His instinct for helping others is well chronicled. Our hope is for his speedy recovery."
A Sacramento TV station reported that Thursday's stabbing happened about 12:45 a.m. on a Sacramento street corner.
The victim suffered "multiple stab wounds to his torso," ABC10 Sacramento reported. Police initially said he was in critical condition but is now expected to survive.did not think the stabbing victim would survive and began treating the incident as a homicide investigation, but it now appears that the victim will pull through.
Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James posted on Facebook on Thursday that she was saddened to hear that Stone had been involved in the stabbing incident.
"Many of you know that he risked his life weeks ago to save many lives during a French train attack," James wrote. "The circumstances for today's incident are under investigation by the local law enforcement. Meanwhile, please keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers."