A Muslim employee who saved lives during a terrorist attack at a Paris kosher supermarket has been granted French citizenship as a reward. 

Lassana Bathily, 24, was praised for his "courage" and "heroism" during a ceremony Tuesday by Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve. 

Associated Press reported: 

Cazeneuve said Bathily's "act of humanity has become a symbol of an Islam of peace and tolerance."

Bathily was in the store's underground stockroom when gunman Amedy Coulibaly burst in upstairs on January 9 and killed four people. He turned off the stockroom's freezer and hid a group of shoppers inside before sneaking out through a fire escape to speak to police and help them with their operation to free the 15 hostages and kill the attacker.

Bathily, who was born in Mali, has lived in France since 2006. He applied for citizenship last year.