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One of the American passengers hailed as a hero after thwarting an AK-47-toting gunman on a train found himself invited to the French premiere of music movie "Straight Outta Compton."
Anthony Sadler, 23, joined stars on the red carpet late Monday, just hours after being awarded France’s highest honor for his role in subduing the assailant on a Paris-bound train.
“I have school next week so I’m trying to settle down”
“I feel like I’m in a dream, it's unreal,” the Sacramento State University student said as he attended the prestigious event. “It’s pretty crazy.”
Sadler was given the Legion d’Honneur medal, along with childhood buddies Alek Skarlatos and Spencer Stone and British businessman Chris Norman, by French President Francois Hollande on Monday.
They were among the passengers who helped disarm Ayoub El-Khazzani, a 26-year-old Moroccan who emerged from a toilet cubicle armed with the assault rifle, a pistol and a knife on a high-speed train from Amsterdam on Friday.
“It was a great honor to meet the French president, I never thought that I would be in that position,” Sadler said. “He's a really nice man and I appreciate everything he did for us. It's a great honor bestowed upon us and I appreciate that.”
He added that he planned to fly home to California Tuesday in time to return to college. “I have school next week so I’m trying to settle down,” he said.
Sadler was invited after being recognized in a Paris restaurant by Ice Cube, one of the fonding members of hip-hop group N.W.A., on whom the movie is based, according to a report by French news channel BFM-TV.
During Monday’s ceremony, Hollande also praised Mark Moogalian, a French-American academic who was also involved in foiling the attack but remains hospitalized. He praised Moogalian's "courage" by intervening.