A Navy intelligence analyst raised in Santa Cruz County was shot to death by an unidentified gunman in Iraq, military officials said Friday.
Lt. Kylan A. Jones-Huffman, 31, who grew up in Aptos, was killed Thursday while working in the city of Hillah, according to a Defense Department statement. He was one of two American casualties that day.
Jones-Huffman, who was fond of haiku and had a doctorate in history, planned to become a history teacher when he returned home, his father said. He was fluent in several languages, including German and French.
His son had "an unquenchable curiosity and desire to teach," said James Huffman, 57, who now lives in Pagosa Springs, Colo., with his wife, Dagmar. "He read everything he could get his hands on."
Jones-Huffman was deployed to the Middle East in January and had been stationed in Bahrain, his father said. At the time of his death, he was on temporary duty with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, Huffman said, and his job was to brief American troops arriving in Iraq.
The lieutenant was born while his father was serving in the Army in Vietnam, and in 1980 the family settled in Aptos. In 1994, Jones-Huffman graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, and a year later he married his high school sweetheart, Heidi Jones, his father said.
After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Jones-Huffman began working for the Navy's Criminal Investigative Service as a counterterrorism analyst.
The last few years, the couple had lived in College Park, Md., according to his family.
He is also survived by a younger brother and sister.