One of the three Americans who helped stop a terror attack on a high-speed train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris returned home to California on Tuesday.
Video from Sacramento television station KCRA showed Anthony Sadler, 23, walking off a commercial plane at Sacramento International Airport accompanied by his parents.
The Sacramento State University student was dressed in black shorts and a gray T-shirt and was carrying a black backpack as the family walked into the tarmac with the rest of the passengers. Instead of using a jetway to the terminal like other passengers, the family was led to an area where several sheriff's vehicles waited.
The family arrived in Sacramento after taking a private jet to Portland, Oregon. Columbia Sportswear CEO Timothy Boyle had made the jet available to fly the Americans' mothers to France.
Speaking at a news conference in Sacramento on Wednesday afternoon, Sadler said he “didn’t expect all this to happen.”
Sadler and two Sacramento-area friends, U.S. Air Force Airman Spencer Stone, 23, and Oregon National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos, 22, helped subdue Ayoub El-Khazzani, a man with ties to radical Islam who was carrying a handgun and an assault weapon on the train Friday.
Stone was undergoing treatment at a military hospital in Germany for injuries suffered in the attack. Skarlatos remained in Stone in Germany.
John Dickson, who arrived on the same plane as Sadler, called him a good friend from the three years they have spent together at Sacramento State University.
He said no one noticed Sadler was on the plane until he was approached on board by a TV producer.
"He was very relaxed,'' Dickson said as he left the Sacramento airport. ``Very low key.''
Dickson said he, too, was returning from Europe and that he had made plans to meet Sadler during their European vacation.
"We were supposed to link up in Europe but it never happened,'' he said.
Alina Ezzi was at the Sacramento airport Tuesday hoping to greet Sadler after hearing of his pending arrival through the media.
"I've just been super interested in it,'' said the San Francisco State University student. ``It's a fascinating story: People see what happens and decide to stand up. ... I feel like our society is finally stepping up to the plate.''
She said that sort of heroic behavior should be rewarded after the 9/11 attacks.