Stephen Troell, a 45-year-old husband and father of four, was killed Monday night by a group of terrorists while driving in Iraq’s capital city with his wife and one of his children. Troell’s car was reportedly cut off by another car before assailants in a third vehicle shot and killed him. His wife and child were unharmed in the attack, according to police.
قديش حبينا الزيارة على بغداد!!! كنز العراق هو الشعب. pic.twitter.com/ehBx3zPdDW
— Stephen Troell (@stephentroell) June 11, 2018
Iraqi authorities initially believed the shooting was a part of a failed kidnapping attempt on Troell, but later ruled that theory out, The Associated Press reported. A group unknown to officials claimed responsibility for the killing, saying it was retaliation for a 2020 U.S. airstrike in Baghdad that killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani and another military commander.
Troell taught English at a language center in one of Baghdad’s dilapidated neighborhoods where he also served. The aid worker’s Twitter feed was filled with photos of his family, statements of his devotion to God, and posts about his desire to reach out to those he felt he’d been called to serve in the Middle East.
In 2017, 16 years after radical Islamic terrorists killed thousands of Americans on September 11, 2001, Troell tweeted, “It was 16 years ago today that my life forever changed and God began to take me on a wonderful journey to learn to love my ‘enemies.'”
Clarence Sexton, president and founder of the The Crown College where Troell graduated around 20 years ago, posted a statement from Troell’s family Wednesday after reports of his death.
“On Monday, November 7, 2022, Stephen Troell met his Savior face to face. Jocelyn, the girls, and little Stephen are currently safe and will return to the U.S. in the next few days,” the statement read.
“Stephen often quoted the words of two Moravian young men who gave their lives for the cause. We echo them again: ‘May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering,'” the statement concluded.
Sexton directed people to a donation page for the family set up by The Crown College.
Stephen Troell was a great man. He gave his life to helping the Iraqi people. He leaves a wife and four beautiful children. If you would like to help his family, you may make your tax-deductible donation at https://t.co/P1p2aVVRdF for the Stephen Troell Family. pic.twitter.com/CrPwDe5lez
— Clarence Sexton (@ClarenceSexton) November 9, 2022