A National Guardsman and “Dancing with the Stars” contestant, who became famous for helping thwart a terror attack on a French train, was enrolled at the Oregon college that was the site of a massacre of Christians last week.
On Monday, Aleksander “Alek” Skarlatos paid tribute to the victims of Umpqua Community College, where he is enrolled and would have been attending criminal justice classes, with a dance devoted to them on the hit ABC show.
“Once I found out about the shooting, I just started calling all my friends and family. I felt totally hopeless. Like there was nothing I could do,” he said on the show. “I just felt like I needed to get home as fast as I could.”
It has been tough to focus on dancing in the aftermath of the tragedy, he said.
“This week has been very hard. My entire mind and heart has been with Roseburg,” Skarlatos said referring to the college hometown.
He noted that the Oregon tragedy has been much tougher on him than the terror attack he thwarted in France.
“I didn’t really feel anything from what happened on the train, but when this happens in my hometown and there is nothing you can do about it, it’s just a total shock that you can’t do everything all the time,” he told People magazine.
Watch Skarlatos discussing the tragedy below.
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