Sacramento State senior Anthony Sadler, one of three Americans who subdued a terror attack on a high-speed train from Amsterdam to Paris, has been hailed as a hero by President Robert S. Nelsen.

“We are proud to say Anthony Sadler is a member of the Hornet family,” Nelsen said Saturday, Aug. 22. “His efforts, along with those of his childhood friends, to save the train passengers from a terrorist attack are nothing short of heroic.

Highway 50 salute to hometown heroes

“I look forward to thanking him in person when he returns to campus for fall.”

Sadler, 23, is a senior at Sacramento State, majoring in kinesiology. He is also a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity and the Philosophy Club. He started at Sacramento State in Fall 2010.

In the train incident, a man who had already fired several shots with an automatic rifle and had a large amount of ammunition was subdued by Sadler and his two companions: Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone, who was stabbed; and Army National Guard Specialist Aleksander Skarlatos.

President Barack Obama telephoned Sadler, Stone and Skarlatos to congratulate them for their heroism that prevented a tragedy aboard the packed train.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson said he is “incredibly proud of the three heroes. ... Anthony Sadler, Spencer Stone and Alek Skarlatos risked their own lives to save the lives of complete strangers. That is true heroism," the mayor said. And Gov. Jerry Brown tweeted that he was "proud of the brave Californians who helped prevent yesterday's attack in France and saved countless lives."

In France, all three men, along with a British passenger, were awarded the Legion of Honor by French President Francois Hollande, who said they "gave us a lesson in courage, in will, and thus in hope.” 

And on Aug. 27, President Nelsen announced the establishment of the Anthony Sadler Community Scholarship to help him with college expenses. For information and to contribute: – Elisa B. Smith and Jack Vaughn


In the media

"Sacramento State proud of France train attack heroes," KFBK

"Parade planned to recognize 3 Sacramento heroes," News10

"Parade planned to honor Sacramento hometown heroes," Fox40

"French Legion of Honor awarded to U.S. train heroes; actions called 'a lesson in courage . . . hope,' " The Sacramento Bee

"Editorial: Three buddies on interrupted vacation inspire us," The Sacramento Bee

"Heroes who foiled train gunman scheduled for rest, college," The Associated Press

"Pride, relief after childhood friends from Sacramento thwart European train attack," The Sacramento Bee

Video: "Father of Sac State student who helped subdue gunman says he's 'stunned,' 'relieved,' " The Sacramento Bee

"3 who stopped train attack were boyhood friends," The New York Times

"Sacramento men helped subdue gunman on high-speed train," KCRA Channel 3

"One of three men who stopped a train attack speaks," News10

"Train heroes: The men who helped avert a massacre in Europe," CNN