Father speaks out about son’s death in Sri Lanka bombings

Local News

One of the Americans killed in the Sri Lanka bombings was 11-year-old Kieran Shafritz de Zoysa. He lived in Washington DC but was studying abroad in Sri Lanka.

The boy’s father and grandmother who are in Las Vegas spoke with 8 News Now Tuesday. His grandparents have lived in Las Vegas for roughly 20 years. His father has a home in San Diego and flew to Las Vegas to be with his parents after learning about the terrorist attack that killed his son. 

Alexander Arrow and Luise Shafritz remember Kieran as a young boy with a lot of worldly experience and dreams of being a neuroscientist. Arrow says his son already traveled to five continents before his teen years.

The 5th grader attended a prestigious private school in Washington DC but was recently studying abroad in Sri Lanka where his mother’s side of the family lives. 

Arrow recollects calling Kieran less than an hour before the attack. His son’s last response via text was “I can’t talk right now” because he was in an elevator going to breakfast at the Cinnamon Hotel. Less than an hour later, Arrow says shrapnel from the explosion pierced his son’s heart and killed him.

Arrow’s last memories of his son include kayaking together on a lake about two weeks ago.  A special moment that Arrow says Kieran’s mother blurted out at the hospital while listing reasons why Kieran couldn’t die now.

“‘He needs to go back and go kayaking with you again,’ she said. She told me Alex, ‘he needs to come back and go kayaking again.'”

“They don’t know what they robbed,” said Kieran’s grandmother, Luise Shafritz. “All families have lost loved ones and the world has lost Kieran and he was going to do great things.”

His family adds Kieran’s aspirations included attending Harvard University, his parents’ alma mater.

Arrow says potential services for Kieran may take place in San Diego and Washington DC. A GoFundMe page has already raised more than $15,000 to help cover expenses.

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