Jason Spindler was among the 21 people killed in Wednesday's terrorist hotel attack in Nairobi, Kenya
An American man who survived the deadly attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 was tragically killed by another act of terror this week halfway across the world.
Jason Spindler had been living in Nairobi, Kenya for the last three years, according to KTRK. On Tuesday, his life was cut short when he was senselessly killed during a terrorist attack at the DusitD2 hotel complex in the capital city.
Following the devastating incident, Jonathan Spindler posted an update on his Facebook page, confirming that his 40-year-old brother was one of the 21 fatalities in the deadly explosions and gunfire.
“It’s with a heavy heart that I announce that my brother, Jason Spindler, passed away this morning during a terror attack in Nairobi,” Jonathan wrote, according to the New York Daily News. “Jason was a survivor of 9/11 and a fighter. I am sure he gave them hell.”
“There are no words to describe how our family is feeling but I can say … Jason Spindler, you are and always will be an amazing son, brother, and uncle. Rest in peace — we will miss you dearly,” he added.
His father, Joseph, also told the outlet that his son was working in the complex and often ate at the cafe in the Nairobi hotel that was targeted by the terrorists.
Speaking to NBC News shortly after the deadly incident, Jason’s mother Sarah said her son “was trying to make positive change in the third world in emerging markets.”
“We all miss him so much,” she told the outlet. “And it’s so sad that such a bright young person is taken away by terrorism.”
She also explained that Jason enjoyed helping others, which is why he was living in the East African country and assisting locals with building businesses to make a better living.
Unfortunately, this was not the first time that Jason experienced an act of terrorism first-hand.
18 years ago, Jason was working for Salomon Smith Barney/Citigroup at 7 World Trade Center when two hijacked planes flew into the Twin Towers, according to the New York Daily News.
His mom told KTRK that her son had come to work late that day and witnessed the first tower fall as he emerged from the subway station.
“Then he went back to help out and Building 7 fell and he was all covered in the dust,” Sarah told the outlet.
After 9/11, the Houston native, who had also previously lived in San Francisco, joined the Peace Corps and attended the University of Texas at Austin and New York University Law, according to KTRK.
While in law school, he started a tech company called I-Dev International, that helped developing countries build business strategies. As co-founder and CEO of the company, Jason advised several large and small corporations on growth, management and financial strategies, according to his bio on the I-Dev International’s website.
In the aftermath of his death, many of Jason’s friends and classmates paid tribute to the late businessman on social media, remembering him for his character and charisma.
“Jason Spindler was one of those rare men who was loved by pretty much anyone be touched in Kenya and around the world,” his friend Chris Schroeder tweeted Tuesday.
“Today he was killed in the terrible al shabab attack in Nairobi. He chose a life of hope and inclusion. I am grateful to have known and learned from him,” Schroeder added.
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His former boarding school, Hebron Academy in Maine, also paid tribute with a message on Facebook and explained that they flew their flag at half staff in his honor.
“We are saddened to announce that Jason Spindler, Hebron class of 1996, was among those killed in yesterday’s terror attacks in Kenya,” they wrote. “Jason will always be remembered at Hebron as a true friend by all with whom he crossed paths. At Hebron, Jason was captain of the swim team his junior and senior years, was active in Green Key, Outing Club, and was a member of the Diversity Committee.”
“Our hearts go out to Jason’s family at this very sad time,” the school finished.
Spindler would’ve turned 41 next week, KTRK said. But instead of celebrating his birthday, his parents are currently on their way to Nairobi to bring his body back home.