PICTURED: American aid worker who was executed in front of his wife and child in Baghdad ambush while driving in traffic
- Stephen Edward Troell, an American aid worker, was shot while driving with his family on Monday in Baghdad
- Troell was driving through his street in the central Karrada district when he was cut off by a car and shot by assailants in another car
- The aid worker was employed at the Global English Institute in Iraq alongside his wife – who was also in the car at the time of the shooting
- It isn’t clear why the shooting occurred, and the gunmen haven’t been identified
An American aid worker was shot dead during an ambush attack in Baghdad while with his wife and child.
Stephen Edward Troell was shot in his car Monday as he drove through the streets where he lives in the central Karrada district on the east bank of the Tigris River, officials said.
Troell was cut off by one car and then shot dead by assailants that passed him in another car. The attack was described as a ‘botched kidnapping attack,’ according to Kurdistan 24, a local news outlet.
‘We are closely monitoring local authorities’ investigation into the cause of death,’ a spokesperson for a State Department said. ‘We offer our sincerest condolences to the family on their loss and stand ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance. Out of respect to the family during this difficult time, we have no further comment.’
Troell’s wife and child were uninjured – and the aid worker was pronounced dead at Sheikh Zayed Hospital.
The gunmen haven’t been identified.
Stephen Edward Troell, an American aid worker, was shot while driving with his family on Monday in Baghdad. Pictured: Troell with his family
Troell worked in Baghdad alongside his wife (above). She was in the car when he was shot
Troell was driving through his street in the central Karrada district when he was cut off by a car and shot by assailants in another car
He was taken to the Sheikh Zayed Hospital (above) where he was pronounced dead
The ambulance believed to be carrying Troell’s body on Monday
Officers were seen outside the hospital Troell was taken to on Monday night
Troell was a Tennessee native and worked in advertising at the Global English Institute in Iraq – a language organization with headquarters based in Texas known as Millennium Relief and Development Services.
The company paid tribute to Troell, who worked in Iraq alongside his wife.
‘He loved the people of Iraq,’ the company wrote in a statement, according to The Washington Post. ‘He will be remembered as a source of great encouragement and will be missed by all who knew him and were touched by his life.’
Weeks before his death, Troell posted a video on Social Media advertising the work of the Global English Institute in Baghdad.
The video showed Troell enthusiastically introducing new English learning courses and a CPR class.
‘We would be glad to help you on your English language journey, we love what we are doing here, helping people enjoy the English language and taking that journey,’ Troell said.
The institute announced Troell’s death on Facebook and said the center would be closed for the next two weeks.
‘It is with great sadness that we bid farewell to our dear (Stephen Troll), who has always loved Iraq and its people and sought to serve it,’ the center wrote.
‘We apologize that the center will be closed for two weeks and after that, we return to complete our English courses to keep our message as we promised you, which is learning English and spreading love and peace for the sake of our country’s people.
Iraq officers were seen standing outside the hospital where the body was taken
One officer was seen standing at the car entryway of the hospital
Monday’s killing was rare – especially since Iraq has become more safe for visitors in recent years
Troell had appeared in a social media video two weeks before to talk about English courses offered at his work, the Global English Institute
Troell had been renting an apartment in the Karrada’s Wahda area since May last year, according to the Associated Press.
His social media profile shows he was a deeply religious and devoted family man, often posting photos with his wife and three young daughters, with a special devotion to the Middle East. In his
Twitter biography, he described himself as living and serving in the region.
In one post, Troell posed with his wife on a Baghdad bridge as the sun set behind them. “What a wonderful place!” he wrote.
The death of a foreigner in Iraq is rare, especially since security conditions have enhanced and tourism has improved.
Such attacks against individuals in the Iraqi capital have been sparse since the defeat of the Islamic State group in the country in 2017 but rockets are sometimes fired toward the U.S. Embassy.
U.S.-led coalition forces recently ended their combat mission in Iraq but continue to play an advisory role to Iraqi forces in the fight against IS.