Navy SEAL Killed by ISIS in Iraq Was Star Athlete and Grandson of Infamous Banker Charles Keating
05/04/2016 AT 01:05 PM EDT
Keating IV was killed while assisting Kurdish forces outside of Mosul, a city in northern Iraq completely ruled and occupied by ISIS, according to NBC News.
The 31-year-old's death marks the third American service member to be killed in direct combat since U.S. forces began fighting ISIS. Army Master Sgt. Joshua Wheeler, a member of Delta Force, was killed during a raid on an ISIS compound last October, and Marine Staff Sgt. Louis Cardin of Temecula, California, was killed in action on March 19.
In response to Keating IV's death, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey ordered the state's flags to be lowered to half-staff on Wednesday.
"His death is a tragic reminder of the daily sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform – fighting evil and extremism on the front lines to protect freedom and democracy at home and throughout the world," Ducey said in a statement.
A champion track runner, Keating attended Indiana University on a track and cross-country scholarship before leaving to join the military, according to the Wall Street Journal.
"When Charlie left IU to enlist and try to become a SEAL, I don’t think it really surprised any of us," Robert Chapman, a professor and former the men' s cross-country coach at Indiana University, Bloomington, said in a statement from the university. "You could tell he was a guy who wanted to be the best and find out what he was made of, and serving as special-operations forces for his country embodied that."
Keating IV lived in Coronado, California, and was engaged to Brooke Clarke. They were set to marry this November, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.
The SEAL's grandfather was embroiled in the $2.5 billion collapse of California's Lincoln Savings and Loan in the late 1980s. Keating Jr. – who died in 2014 – was indicted on fraud and racketeering charges related to Lincoln's leading practices, serving almost five years in prison, according to NBC News.