An American volunteer aid worker, Pete Reed, was killed in the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut on Thursday while aiding civilians, according to a statement from Global Response Medicine, the humanitarian aid group he founded.
Reed, a US Marine veteran, was listed as “killed while rendering aid” on a mission with another organization, GRM said in a statement posted on social media.
“Yesterday, GRM founder Pete Reed was killed in Bakhmut, Ukraine. Pete was the bedrock of GRM, serving as Board President for 4 years. In January, Pete stepped away from GRM to work with Global Outreach Doctors on their Ukraine mission and was killed while rendering aid,” according to a post shared on Instagram.
“This is a stark reminder of the perils rescue and aid workers face in conflict zones as they serve citizens caught in the crossfire. Pete was just 33 years old, but lived a life in service of others, first as a decorated US Marine and then in humanitarian aid. GRM will strive to honor his legacy and the selfless service he practiced,” the statement said.
Reed was also listed as the Ukraine country director on the Global Outreach Doctors’ website.
A US State Department spokesperson confirmed “the recent death of a US citizen in Ukraine” when asked for comment.
“We are in touch with the family and providing all possible consular assistance,” the State Department spokesperson said. “Out of respect for the privacy of the family during this difficult time, we have nothing further to add.”
Reed’s wife, Alex Kay Potter, wrote on Instagram that her husband not only lived for his duty but apparently died saving another team member’s life.
“He was evacuating civilians and responding to those wounded when his ambulance was shelled. He died doing what he was great at, what gave him life, and what he loved, and apparently by saving a team member with his own body,” the post said.
Reed started his humanitarian career working after Superstorm Sandy hit his home state of New Jersey, according to the biography pages on the Global Response Medicine and Global Outreach Doctors websites.
Reed led medical teams during the Battle for Mosul in Iraq, treating over 10,000 trauma patients, according to the websites.