Humanitarian worker and U.S. Marine Corps veteran Pete Reed was killed while aiding civilians in Bakhmut, Ukraine, on Thursday, according to his family and the group Global Response Medicine. Reed, who served two deployments as a Marine rifleman in Afghanistan, founded the nonprofit in 2017.
In January, Reed, stepped away from Global Response Medicine to work with Global Outreach Doctors on their Ukraine mission, and was killed while rendering aid, the organization said. The city of Bakhmut has been the focus of intense fighting in recent weeks.
“He was evacuating citizens and responding to those wounded when his ambulance was shelled,” his wife Alex Kay Potter said in a Facebook post.
Reed, 33, started his paramedic career after Hurricane Sandy hit his home state of New Jersey, the organization said on its website. It said he also went to Northern Iraq, where he led medical teams with the Kurdish Peshmerga, and then with the Iraqi Special Forces for the duration of the battle for Mosul.
“This is a stark reminder of the perils rescue and aid workers face in conflict zones as they serve citizens caught in the crossfire,” GRM Deputy Director Andrea Leiner said in a statement.
Reed is the latest American to die in Ukraine since Russia launched its offensive nearly one year ago.
Just last month, Daniel W. Swift, a Navy SEAL who was reported AWOL, was killed in Ukraine, officials confirmed to CBS News. At least eight other Americans have been killed in Ukraine since the invasion began.
The U.S. State Department has long discouraged Americans from going to fight for Ukraine. “U.S. citizens who travel to Ukraine — especially with the purpose of participating in fighting there — they face significant risks, including the very real risk of capture or death,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said last March.
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