NYU Graduate Among 14 Killed In Terrorist Attack At Kenyan Hotel

January 16, 2019 - 8:04 am

NAIROBI, Kenya (WCBS 880/AP) — An NYU law school graduate working for the Peace Corps in Kenya is among more than a dozen killed in a terrorist attack at an upscale hotel complex in Kenya’s capital. 

Jason Spindler’s mom told NBC News that her son was trying to make positive changes in the nation. She said he joined the Peace Corps after the 9/11 attacks and that he was a recipient of grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Clinton Foundation.

A friend wrote on Twitter that he "was one of those rare men who was loved by pretty much anyone be touched in Kenya and around the world."

Kenyan authorities said 14 people were killed in the attack at the DusitD2 hotel complex, which began Tuesday afternoon and continued into the night. 

A department official confirmed Tuesday that a U.S. citizen was killed, but declined to identify the individual. The official said the State Department is offering condolences to the victim's family and friends. Out of respect for relatives of the deceased, the department declined further comment.

Africa's Islamic militant group, al-Shabab, claimed responsibility for the attack, which involved explosions and people being gunned down at cafe tables. It's the same group that carried out the 2013 attack at the nearby Westgate Mall in Nairobi that left 67 people dead.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said security forces killed all four militants involved.

Dozens of people were reuniting with friends and family Wednesday after being trapped for more than 12 hours in the complex overnight.