An Afghan university official has identified the two Americans killed in a shooting at a Kabul hospital earlier this week.
Thursday, an Afghan police security guard opened fire on foreigners as they entered the grounds of Cure International Hospital, killing three people, including pediatrician Dr. Jerry Umanos of Chicago.
On Saturday, Kabul University vice chancellor Mohammad Hadi Hadayati said the other victims were health clinic administrator Jon Gabel and his visiting father, Gary, also from the Chicago area.
Jon Gabel’s wife, also an American, was wounded, Hadayati said.
“We have lost a great man, a great teacher, a man who was here only to serve the Afghan people,” Hadayati said.
Jon Gabel worked for the Colorado Springs-based charity Morning Star Development and ran a health clinic at Kabul University, teaching computer science classes in his spare time, Hadayati said. Jon Gabel’s parents were visiting from Chicago, and Hadayati had lunch with the whole family the day before the attack.
“I was very honored to meet Jon’s parents,” Hadayati said. “Both his mother and father were so proud of their son.”
The Gabel family went the next day to Cure hospital to meet Umanos.
What prompted the police guard to fire on the Americans was not clear. The Interior Ministry released a statement Saturday identifying the attacker as an ordinary police officer from Kabul’s District 6 and not a member of the Afghan Public Protection Force, as was initially reported. The APPF is a separate police unit created to protect foreign compounds.
The Afghan police guard shot himself in the stomach after the attack but was saved by the Cure hospital staff and is in custody at a police hospital.
Jon Gabel’s employer, Morning Star Development, has four medical clinics and several training centers across Afghanistan, according to its website.
In 2012, an American doctor working for Morning Star and two of his colleagues were abducted while returning from a clinic in eastern Kabul province. The American, Dr. Dilip Joseph, was rescued by a U.S. military operation that resulted in the death of a member of the Navy’s Seal Team Six, the same unit that killed bin Laden a year earlier in Pakistan. Joseph’s two colleagues were later released and were never identified.
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