SACRAMENTO (CBS13/AP) — Sacramento is throwing a parade for the three local men who stopped a suspected gunman aboard a French train.
Mayor Kevin Johnson confirmed a parade in honor of Anthony Sadler, 23; Spencer Stone, 23; and Alek Skarlatos, 22 who helped subdue the man carrying a handgun and an assault rifle.READ MORE: Sunday's Show Info (12/5/21)
Messages of congratulations from Sacramento-area leaders poured in for the three over the weekend. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson took to Twitter Sunday morning to thank them.
Sacramento State President Robert S. Nelsen said eager donors are lining up to help Sadler with scholarship money for his last year studying kinesiology. The university is thrilled, he said, to have such a courageous man on campus.
“We want to have a celebration,” Nelsen said. “But we want to have the type of celebration he wants to have.”
As would the City of Sacramento, which is planning a parade for all three men, who grew up in the area. Besides Sadler, Stone lives in nearby Carmichael, California. In fact, the three friends likely won’t lack for invites to fetes and parades, big and small.
“We’d like to invite them to a rally to honor them and give them time to interact with current students,” said Trent Allen, spokesman for the San Juan Unified School District in Sacramento County, California, where Skarlatos and Stone attended high school. “That’s on our wish list.”
Skarlatos, who moved to Roseburg, Oregon, as a teenager, returned from deployment to Afghanistan in July. He is studying at the local community college and hopes for a career in law enforcement, said his stepmother Karen Skarlatos.READ MORE: California International Marathon Expected To Bring In $10M To City Of Sacramento
He plans to stay in Germany with Stone until he is released, she said Monday. Then they’re being flown straight to New York, where she assumes they will sit for interviews.
“They really want to have a day that they can have to themselves in Germany, but whether or not they’re going to get that, I don’t know,” Karen Skarlatos said.
The friends had met up in Europe on vacation and were on their way to Paris by train when they spotted a man carrying an automatic rifle. In a tale now recounted around the world, Stone tackled the man, Skarlatos wrestled the gun away, and all three beat him unconscious. A fourth man, a Briton, helped tie up the gunman.
The gunman has been identified as 26-year-old Moroccan Ayoub El-Khazzani and is being questioned by French counterterrorism police outside Paris.
On Monday morning, the men received France’s highest honor from President Francoise Hollande, along with a kiss on both cheeks.
Sadler “is an international hero, and so are his two friends,” said Nelsen, the president of Sacramento State. “They are longtime friends, they did something that took incredible courage, and I think all of us can learn something from them.”MORE NEWS: 'Thousands Of Dollars In Damage;' Sacramento Sideshow Organizer Arrested In North Natomas
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.