Alek Skarlatos, the train terror attack hero turned star of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars," has been rocked by yet another tragedy. Skarlatos, 22, was one of three brave American tourists who sprung into action, thwarting a terror attack plot aboard a high-speed train from Amsterdam to Paris in August. Weeks after the attack the Army serviceman, hailed a hero, has been forced to face another terrible act, this time at Umpqua Community College, where he is enrolled as a student.
According to TMZ, upon hearing the news Thursday that there had been a shooting at UCC, located in Roseburg, Oregon, Skarlatos immediately left "DWTS" rehearsals in Los Angeles. Sources said he was in the middle of practicing with his partner, Lindsay Arnold, when he received word about the incident. He is said to have been making calls to friends and family currently living where the shooting, which left nine people dead and several injured, occurred.
In an interview with ABC News Skarlatos revealed that he enrolled in UCC shortly before accepting a position on Season 21 of "DWTS." He was slated to have classes Tuesdays and Thursdays and would have been present when the shooting took place. He told the network that if he had been there at the time he "would have tried" to do whatever he could to help. Skarlatos said he decided within an hour of hearing the news he would be flying home to be with his community. He also revealed that, at the time, everyone he knew was safe and accounted for. Skarlatos later tweeted his condolences to the families and friends who were not as lucky.
Heading home to roseburg tonight. Everyone send thoughts and prayers to the families
— alek skarlatos (@alekskarlatos) October 2, 2015
Everyone send prayers out to ucc
— alek skarlatos (@alekskarlatos) October 1, 2015
Skarlatos was announced as part of the Season 21 "DWTS" cast on Sept. 2. He and Arnold, 21, have made it through several eliminations and continue to impress viewers. It is not clear when he plans to return to Los Angeles to continue "DWTS" practice.
"DWTS" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC. Watch Skarlatos' interview with ABC News below: