Navy SEAL killed by ISIS had ties to Arizona

Posted: 12:56 PM, May 03, 2016
Updated: 2016-05-04 16:02:44-04
Navy SEAL killed in Iraq based in Coronado
Navy SEAL killed in Iraq based in Coronado

A Navy SEAL killed in an ISIS attack Tuesday morning went to high school in the Valley.

Family members tell ABC15 Charles Keating died in in an attack 17 miles north of Mosul, Iraq, a city controlled by ISIS fighters

Keating graduated from Arcadia High School in 2004, is the grandson of Arizona businessman Charles Keating and cousin of Arizona Olympic swimmer Gary Hall Jr. 

"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," said Robert Chapman, Keating’s former cross country coach at the University of Indiana. 

Keating had left the University of Indiana to become a SEAL. He enlisted in the Navy in February of 2007 and graduated from SEAL training in June of 2008. 

"The entire IU community extends its heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the family, friends and loved ones of this heroic fallen Hoosier and brave American," the university said in part.

Keating was advising Kurdish Peshmerga forces and reportedly two or three miles behind the front lines before the attack was launched.

Officials said ISIS forces used truck bombs to penetrate the front lines, and the SEAL's position was attacked with small-arms fire.

Just a few days ago, the USS Harry S. Truman carrier strike group's deployment was extended by one month in an effort to continue putting pressure on ISIS.

U.S. and coalition forces launched an intense air attack, with American fighter jets and drones blasting ISIS targets with about two dozen bombs.

Keating was deployed twice after his graduation for Operation Iraqi Freedom and then once for Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Keating was deployed a third time to Iraq for Operation Inherent Resolve where he was attacked. 

During his youth in Arizona, Keating was a champion long-distance runner for Arcadia. He then attended the Naval Academy before becoming a Navy Seal based out of Coronado, California.

Keating had been engaged to be married in November.

The Department of Defense released the following statement: 

"The Department of Defense announced today the death of a U.S. Navy sailor who was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve. Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Charles H. Keating IV, 31, of San Diego, California, died May 3 in Tall Usquf, Iraq, of combat related causes. He was assigned to a West Coast-based Navy SEAL Team."

Gov. Doug Ducey released the following statement about Keating's death

“Our state and nation are in mourning today over the loss of a U.S. serviceman - and one of America's finest. Navy SEAL Charlie Keating IV, a graduate of Arcadia High School in Phoenix, was killed this morning in an ISIS attack near the city of Kabul, in Iraq. Mr. Keating is the third American service member to be killed in direct combat in our nation's fight against ISIS. 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. Our thoughts, prayers and eternal gratitude are with Mr. Keating, his family, his fellow SEALs, and all of the brave Americans who've answered the call to serve. In honor of Navy SEAL and Arizona hero Charlie Keating IV, I've directed that all state flags be lowered to half-staff tomorrow, May 4, from sunrise to sunset. Flags will again be lowered on the day of his interment, for which services are pending.”