Heroes. But first, they were Airsofters. Not widely-reported outside of their hometown newspaper, the Sacramento Bee, two of the men who stopped the EU train shooter were first and always All American Boys:
“Spencer Stone and Alek Skarlatos grew up next door to each other on a quintessential suburban street in Carmichael lined with ranch houses, shade trees and flowering shrubs.
Friends from age 7, they played with their siblings and neighbors up and down Woodknoll Way, favoring games such as Airsoft, in which participants shoot each other with realistic-looking replica guns that fire plastic pellets, said Peter Skarlatos, Alek’s older brother. Later at Del Campo High School, they played football, lacrosse and other contact sports.
We’d basically turn this neighborhood into a war zone,” the brother said, sitting on the shady front porch of his family’s ranch house Sunday afternoon. “Spencer and Alek were all action-oriented kinds of guys….”
“…I believed then and still do that violent urges cannot be completely quashed, but they can be channeled into virtuous expression. There is all the difference in the world between using violence aggressively and using it defensively…”