Anthony Sadler Jr.
NBC News Screenshot  

Anthony Sadler Sr. told NBC News affiliate KCRA in Sacramento, Calif., that he was "stunned" and "relieved" when he heard that his son was one of three Americans who on Friday helped subdue a gunman aboard a high-speed train en route to Paris from Amsterdam.

"[I'm] proud, you know," the father told the news station about his son, Anthony Sadler Jr. "The dominant feeling [is] relief that he wasn't hurt or killed."

The younger Sadler, 23, a senior at California State University in Sacramento, who was on his first trip to Europe, was traveling with childhood friends Alek Skarlatos, 22, and Spencer Stone, 23, on Friday when they subdued and disarmed a gunman on a high-speed train between Amsterdam and Paris.

"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," Sadler told the news station.  "It's kind of crazy."


Skarlatos, a National Guardsman based in Oregon, was on a monthlong vacation after returning from deployment in Afghanistan, and Stone serves in the U.S. Air Force, according to CNN.

Here is what happened, according to CNN: When Skarlatos "heard gunfire and breaking glass, and sensed something was wrong," he mobilized the others. "They ambushed the gunman and beat him even as he slashed one of them in the neck with a sharp object."

"I'm so proud of [my son]," his father, Emanuel Skarlatos, told CNN affiliate KVAL. "I mean, I'm in awe."


The fathers are not the only ones who are proud.

President Barack Obama called the three men heroes. He spoke to them by phone Saturday, "commending and congratulating them for their courage and quick action," according to CNN.

French President François Hollande also congratulated the men's "bravery and planned to host a meeting with them Monday that will include top government ministers," the report says.