The attacker, a 26-year-old Moroccan national, came out of the restroom and began shooting, but unfortunately for him, three U.S. Marines were nearby and tackled him before he was able to kill anyone.
One of the Marines was shot during the tussle and another stabbed. A French news agency is reporting that one is in a critical condition.
“I would like to express our gratitude to and admiration for these two American passengers,” said the French Interior, Minister Bernard Cazeneuve. He added, “Thanks to the calm composure of the two American passengers, we have avoided a tragedy. Without them we would have face something terrible.”
Investigators from France's special anti-terror police are leading the investigation, a spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutor's office said.
Two of the victims are in a critical condition. The suspect is a 26-year-old Moroccan, said Sliman Hamzi, an official with police union Alliance.
A spokesman for the French state rail company SNCF said that the assailant was armed with guns and knives but gave no further details about the attack.
At least three people were injured, one of them seriously, after the gunman opened fire earlier today
French police said that the suspect was a 26-year-old Moroccan national and was known to security services
French authorities are currently investigating the motive behind today's shooting which left three injured
Local media reported that French actor Jean-Hugues Anglade, (standing) who played hardman cop Eddy Caplan in gritty crime drama Braquo was among the three people who were wounded in the shooting
An American and a Briton were reportedly among those injured.
The gunman was arrested after the train pulled into the station in the northern French town of Arras, the SNCF spokesman told AFP.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve arrived at the scene in Arras in the wake of the incident, which occurred shortly after 6pm local time.
His spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet confirmed to AFP that a man had opened fire on the train but said that at this stage “we do not know his motives”.
France has been an a state of high alert since the Charlie Hebdo massacre in January 2015 in Paris
The French actor Jean-Hugues Anglade, who appeared in the 1986 cult film ‘Betty Blue' staring Beatrice Dalle, was lightly injured.
Thalys said on its website that several trains had been delayed after the ‘intervention of security forces at Arras station'.
‘The train is at the station and emergency services are at the scene,' said Thalys, which is jointly owned by the national rail companies of Belgium, France and Germany.
France remains on edge after Islamic extremists attacked the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket in Paris in January.
In June, a man beheaded his boss and tried to blow up a gas plant in southern France in what prosecutors say was an attack inspired by ISIS.
Emergency services greeted the train as it arrived in Arras to help with distressed passengers
French anti-terror police are leading the investigation into the 26-year-old gunman who was arrested
The British Foreign Office said it was in contact with French authorities after it was reported a Briton was hurt
A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: ‘We are aware of reports of shots being fired on a train in France.
‘The French authorities have responded, we are in contact with them and are urgently seeking more information.'
Interior ministry spokesman Pierre Henry Brandet said: ‘A man opened fire on this Thalys train between Amsterdam and Paris, one person was very seriously injured. Talking about a terrorist motive would be premature at the moment.’
Francois Hollande, the French president, has said: ‘I express my solidarity with the wounded from the attack on the train from Amsterdam to Paris. Everything is being done to shed light on this tragedy.’