Family: Illinois plumber was slain CIA contractor

AP News
Posted: Sep 28, 2011 4:46 PM
Family: Illinois plumber was slain CIA contractor

An Illinois plumber was the CIA contractor killed during a shooting at an agency facility in Kabul, Afghanistan, his father and a U.S. official said Wednesday.

Jay Henigan, 61, of Sycamore, was shot Sunday evening by an Afghan worker who was providing security to the CIA facility in an attack that also wounded another American, a U.S. official told The Associated Press. The official requested anonymity to speak about intelligence matters.

Henigan's father, 87-year-old Tom Henigan, said his son already had served one stint in Afghanistan as a plumber at a CIA facility and had just begun his second.

"He wanted to go again; he wanted to help out, I guess," Tom Henigan said.

Henigan said his son had lived with him this summer and helped him do whatever he needed around the family home in Sycamore, a town of about 17,500 located about 50 miles west of Chicago.

"He mowed my four acres and helped out with anything I wanted him to do," said Henigan. "He was a great guy, very happy go lucky. And he had a lot of friends."

Jay Henigan worked for a time in the plumbing business his father once owned but did not want to take it over, Tom Henigan said.

He said the family doesn't know exactly what happened at the facility and was told the CIA is still investigating.

The U.S. embassy in Kabul said the attack happened in an annex of the embassy and that the lone gunman was killed. Embassy spokesman Gavin Sundwall said Tuesday that previous reports that the Afghan worker was not authorized to carry a weapon inside the complex were premature, and it was unclear whether that was the case.

He said Henigan "provided essential support for the maintenance of the U.S. annex in Kabul."

"He was described to me as a valued member of the team, and he will be sorely missed," Sundwall said.

U.S. officials have not named the complex as a CIA office, but former intelligence officials have confirmed it was used by the CIA.

Tom Henigan said his son also leaves three sons, a brother and two sisters. He said his son did not want a funeral, so friends and family will gather Thursday for "coffee and some goodies" to talk about Henigan's life.

Sycamore Mayor Ken Mundy said the Henigan family's ancestors were among the town's early settlers.

"A lot of people are talking about this because they've been here forever," Mundy said. "It's a sad thing. We've had soldiers and sailors die, but (Jay Henigan) was a civilian working there and you're supposed to be secure.

"For that family to have to go through this is just a tragedy."


Associated Press writer Adam Goldman contributed to this report from Washington.