The Latest: Student slain in Israel called a 'quiet leader'

AP News
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Posted: Mar 09, 2016 6:07 PM

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Latest on a Vanderbilt University student slain during a school trip to Israel (all times local):

5 p.m.

A Vanderbilt University dean says a graduate student killed on a school-sponsored trip to Israel was a "quiet leader" who had a "really, really bright future."

Eric Johnson is the dean of the Owen Graduate School of Management. He says 28-year-old Taylor Force represented the best of the Vanderbilt MBA program.

Johnson says that in Force's short time at Vanderbilt he had a huge impact. Force was recently elected a senator in the student government.

Johnson says other students were with Force when he was stabbed to death but they were unhurt. The 28 other students who were in Israel with Force have returned to the U.S.

Vanderbilt is planning a memorial for Force next week after spring break.

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2 p.m.

A former teacher of a Vanderbilt University graduate student killed on a school-sponsored trip to Israel says Taylor Force was talented and responsible, even as a teenager, and had a lot to give to the world.

Lt. Col. Elizabeth Boese taught English to Force during his senior year of high school at the New Mexico Military Institute. She says students applying to military academies could be very competitive with each other, but Force got along with everybody. He attended West Point and then served in Iraq and Afghanistan before enrolling at Vanderbilt.

Boese says people expect someone who served overseas and makes it home to be OK after that.

She says she remembers Force as "a great kid, working toward a great future."

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11:45 a.m.

The father of a Vanderbilt University graduate student killed on a school trip to Israel says Taylor Force was exploring civilian life after graduating from West Point and serving in the Army.

Stuart Force says his 28-year-old son was an avid skier and guitar player who loved horses and ranch life after a childhood in Texas.

Stuart Force says his son served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan before enrolling in business school at Vanderbilt.

Taylor Force wasn't yet sure what he was going to do when he graduated but was exploring the civilian side of life. He was enjoying school and making friends.

His father says "he really fit it all in. He lived really large."

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8:30 a.m.

Officials say a graduate student at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee was stabbed to death in an attack in Israel.

Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos writes in a letter to students, faculty and staff that American student Taylor Force was killed Tuesday.

Zeppos says all other students and faculty on the trip are safe and unharmed. Zeppos called the incident a "horrific act of violence."

Zeppos writes that Force was seeking to learn more about global entrepreneurship and startups in Israel while on the trip. He was studying at the school's Owen Graduate School of Management. He was 28 and a West Point graduate who served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Stuart Force, Taylor's father, spoke briefly with The Associated Press by phone, calling his son "a great kid."