Spencer Stone, the Sacramento native credited with helping stop a terrorist attack on a train to France was stabbed early Thursday morning in Midtown Sacramento.
A law enforcement source confirmed to FOX40 that 23-year-old Stone was stabbed outside a bar near 21st and K street.
The violent encounter was captured on surveillance video in the middle of the street. It lasted only seconds, but left Stone bleeding from several stab wounds.
WARNING: The raw surveillance video below may be graphic for some viewers.
"The assault does not appear to be a random act, it's believed to be related to a nightclub incident," Sacramento Deputy Police Chief Ken Bernard said during a news conference.
Bernard said Stone was out late last night with another man and three female acquaintances. A Sacramento police source tells FOX40 that the fight started over Stone defending a female friend.
Thursday afternoon, detectives were at Badlands on 20th and K streets questioning employees.
UC Davis Medical Center Gives Update on Stone's Condition
Stone was taken to UC Davis Medical Center in serious condition, with three stab wounds to the torso.
UC Davis' chief medical officer called him "quite a fighter."
Stone is listed in "serious but stable" condition.
Sacramento has already celebrated this fighter, throwing a parade for him and his two fellow hometown heroes, Anthony Sadler and Alek Skarlatos.
Stone's family expressed their gratitude to the community, saying: "The family of Airman Spencer Stone appreciates the outpouring of love and support."
Stone is expected to fully recover from his injuries.
Friends, Neighbors 'Heartbroken' by Stabbing
"There's just been too many weird things happening with the Roseburg incident [at] Alek's school and this with Spencer. It's just not natural," said Heidi Hansen, the mother of Alek Skarlatos.
Lifelong friend Victor Spencer was with Stone at the hospital Thursday morning. He said he was one of the first to hear about the stabbing and talked to Stone before surgery.
"It was really short. He wasn't feeling too good at the time. I just said a prayer with him, told him everything is going to be OK," he said.
Fellow hometown hero Alek Skarlatos tweeted Thursday about his friend.
"Spencer is one tough guy. And only he could have done something like that and lived, yet again."
Anthony Sadler's family has declined commenting on the situation, but said they're shocked and are praying for the Stones.
Hansen said she expects Stone to stay in the hospital for at least a couple of weeks while he recovers from his injuries.
The Search for Suspects and Security in Midtown
Fleeting images show a violent fight crew scurrying away from the stabbing, according to Sacramento police.
"I just went outside and seen a car drive off," said Eric Lutin, a clerk at A&P Liquor. Lutin says he didn't see the attack on Stone, but he heard a co-worker shouting about the fight.
"He said some guy got stabbed. He was kind of hysteric, said he got stabbed in the front and the back, seen blood on his shirt," Lutin said.
Juliette House, a manager at Low Brau said the incident is very scary.
"It was absolutely terrible," said Steven Bralley, owner at IPS Printers, which has done business in the area for 30 years.
He and others who make their living in a place that's just a playground for many, say this part of midtown is facing more problems.
"Some elements come in here and just try to stir things up for the people who just want to come have fun," Bralley said.
"Another typical day in midtown," said Lutin.
"We witnessed a brawl a couple weeks ago, out in the middle of the street well after we had closed. Don't know where it started," House said.
But they also say police presence there is ample and responsive and that the incidents that do occur come down to a lack of personal responsibility.
"Just seems like there's a lot of aggression, and I think that's indicative of what's going on in general," House said.
The search is still on for at least two men spotted leaving the stabbing scene in a dark, 2009-2012 Toyota Camry.
Investigators did say that the incident was not at all related to any terrorist act.
Stay with FOX40 and FOX40.com for the latest information as this story develops.