U.S. Citizen Killed in Jaffa Attack Had Survived Combat Duty in Afghanistan, Iraq

Taylor Force, 29, had come to Israel on a class trip as a student at Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management.

Taylor Force, the U.S. citizen killed on the March 9, 2015 terror attack in Jaffa.Facebook screenshot

Taylor Force, the 29-year-old U.S. citizen killed in Tuesday's terrorist attack in Jaffa had survived frontline combat duties in Afghanistan and Iraq before visiting Israel with fellow graduate students and faculty from Vanderbilt University.

A series of stabbings and shootings took place in Israel on Tuesday, which in addition to killing Force, wounded 13 other people in separate attacks that occurred in Jerusalem, Jaffa and Petach Tikva. Four of the attackers were killed.

None of Force's peers from Vanderbilt were hurt, the university said.

"Taylor embarked on this trip to expand his understanding of global entrepreneurship and also to share his insights and knowledge with start-ups in Israel," a statement from the Nashville, Tennessee-based university said.

"He exemplified the spirit of discovery, learning and service that is the hallmark of our wonderful Owen community," the statement added.

"This horrific act of violence has robbed our Vanderbilt family of a young hopeful life and all of the bright promise that he held for bettering our greater world."

Barrett Caldwell, a man identifying himself as a friend of the victim posted on Facebook that Force had graduated from the U.S. military academy of West Point in 2009 and had been deployed to the front lines in Afghanistan and Iraq as a field artillery officer. 

"His decisions, actions, and leadership were heroic and yet he stayed so humble when we talked privately," Caldwell wrote.

"Taylor was the epitome of a gentleman, a fellow military Officer, and a friend. I can hear his voice and laugh now as we talked about life and memories together, he added.

Eleven of those injured in Jaffa were still being treated at Sheba Hospital, Tel Hashomer, one of them listed in serious condition. Four others were at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, three had been wounded moderately and one slightly.