Who Was Justin Shults? The American Missing In The Brussels Attacks Has Been Confirmed Dead

Belgian flags reading 'Pray for Belgium' are pictured as people gather at a makeshift memorial on the Place de la Bourse (Beursplein) in Brussels on March 23, 2016, a day after a triple bomb attack, which responsibility was claimed by the Islamic State group, left 31 dead and hundreds injured in the Belgian capital. World leaders united in condemning the carnage in Brussels and vowed to combat terrorism, after Islamic State bombers killed 31 people in a strike at the symbolic heart of the EU. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / AFP / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
Source: KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images

According to NBC News, an American named Justin Shults, who'd been missing since the terrorist attacks in Brussels on Tuesday, was confirmed dead by his family on Saturday. Shults, 30, was reportedly bidding farewell to his mother-in-law at the Brussels airport when the two suicide bombs detonated. His whereabouts had been unaccounted for in the days following the attacks, along with those of his wife, Stephanie, but his brother, Levi Sutton, tweeted on Saturday afternoon that the family had received confirmation of his death.

According to Sutton, Justin was slain by "cowards" just weeks after his 30th birthday. There still hasn't been any words on Stephanie, however — a tweet by Sutton hours earlier on Saturday morning mentioned that they knew her car had been discovered at the airport, but since then there had been no additional information about her status.

Justin, a graduate of Vanderbilt University, reportedly worked as an accountant, and was a native of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, a mountain town nearly 40 miles from the city of Knoxville. He and Stephanie had moved to Brussels in 2014, and had been living in the Belgian capital for the past two years before the airport bombing took his life.

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According to NBC News, Stephanie was also employed as an accountant. And as it stands now, confirming her status is the next crucial step — there was a particularly painful miscue earlier this week, when the couple's family was seemingly erroneously informed that they'd been found alive, information which trickled out on Twitter. Now, however, the news is terribly dire. Here's the statement that Sutton posted to Twitter, memorializing his late brother, written in an embedded screenshot to avoid the 140-character limit.

We found out today that cowards took my brother's life just weeks after his 30th birthday. I was blessed to have Justin as a big brother. He was smart and kind and generous. I never met a single person that didn't like him. He worked hard his whole life and achieved goals that most could only dream about. He traveled the world leaving each destination better than when he arrived. Knowing that I'll never be able to see him again hurts but it's worse that my future children will never get to know their uncle Justin as he would've been a tremendous role model. Please pray for my mom.

The attacks in Brussels killed a total of more than 30 people, and injured hundreds more. Justin's death was not the first confirmation of an American killed in Tuesday's attacks; Secretary of State John Kerry divulged as much on Friday, and the U.S. State Department specified that two Americans were slain. Whether they were referring to Justin or Stephanie Shults, or someone else altogether, is not yet clear.

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