It's too melodramatic to say "Dancing With the Stars" saved Alek Skarlatos life, or to say that, if not for DWTS, the Paris train hero would've saved lives yesterday at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. But in another one of life's odd twists of fate, the 22-year-old Army National Guard Specialist who made headlines when he and friends thwarted a possible terrorist attack in Paris was formerly a student at UCC and planned to return. In fact, he told "Good Morning America" he would've been at the school the day of the shooting if ABC hadn't called to ask him to join the current season of "Dancing With the Stars."

Alek was with GMA in Roseburg, which he has called "home" for the past six years, to discuss the October 1 tragedy. "It's just absolutely insane, to be in a situation like this, especially in my town Roseburg," Alek said. Six weeks ago, he helped to thwart a potential attack, and that led to DWTS. But by that point he had already enrolled for Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday classes at UCC. "If I didn't get called for the dancing show I would've been on campus," Alek said. GMA said they know what he would've done, if he was there. Alek replied, "Well, I would've tried anyway."

Here's his GMA interview:


Alek was in the DWTS studio with pro partner Lindsay Arnold when he got the news about the UCC shooting. He was on a flight to Roseburg about an hour after the news, and also gave a reaction statement to People:

I was enrolled as a student at Umpqua Community College prior to my 2014 deployment to Afghanistan. While I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time in August aboard a train bound for Paris, I only wish that the same could be said for today. I wish that I could have been there today to assist. I praise the first responders who were on the ground today in Roseburg as they undoubtedly were integral in saving numerous lives and putting a stop to what could have been more than tragic than it is. My heart and prayers go out to this community, my community, right now."

Alek told GMA everyone he contacted was safe, which is good to hear, but 10 people did die (including the shooter) with at least 10 others injured.

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