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The father of one of the three Americans who helped overpower a gunman on a high-speed train in Europe said he was "stunned" and "relieved" to hear of his son's heroics.
"He leaves here a young man on an excursion to broaden his world view and have fun with his buddies, and he comes back a ... national hero," Anthony Sadler told NBC's affiliate KCRA in Sacramento. "I'm told he might mean the president of France before he leaves so I'm still wrapping my head around that."
Anthony Sadler Jr. was traveling with childhood friends Alek Skarlatos and Spencer Stone when they tackled and disarmed a gunman on a high-speed train between Amsterdam and Paris on Friday.
"[I'm] proud, you know," Sadler senior said. "The dominant feeling [is] relief that he wasn't hurt or killed."
Stone remained in a hospital on Saturday after being stabbed in the attack.
Speaking to journalists alongside Skarlatos and British passenger Chris Norman after receiving a medal from the mayor of the French town of Arras, the younger Sadler also admitted he was struggling to take it all in.
“I’m just a college student. This is my last year in college. I came to see my friends on my first trip to Europe and we stopped a terrorist," he said. "It’s kind of crazy."
Norman told French television that he helped tie the gunman up. Stone then quickly turned to help another passenger who was wounded in the throat, stopping his bleeding until paramedics came, Sadler said.
Sadler also said that during the attack the gunman "never said a word."
French authorities were to speak with him Saturday in Arras, where scientific police circulated around the cordoned-off train and train station.