Vanderbilt grad student and Army vet stabbed to death in Israel

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A student at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management was stabbed to death Monday in Israel.

Taylor Force, 28, was visiting Tel Aviv on an Owen school trip when the attack in Jaffa, a town outside of Tel Aviv, occurred.

NBC News reports Force served in Iraq and Afghanistan with the United States Army.

Vanderbilt confirmed he was the victim of a series of stabbings and shootings led by Palestinians on Israeli people, according to the Associated Press. There were 12 other victims, all Israelis, who were injured but survived.

Superintendent Micky Rosenfeld, the foreign press spokesman for Israeli police, took to Twitter to post updates on the attacks in Israel. In one tweet, he posted a photo of the knife used in the Jaffa attack. He also noted the “terrorist” in Jaffa was shot and killed.

The U.S. Department of state said Tuesday it “condemns in the strongest possible terms today’s outrageous terrorist attacks in Jaffa, Petah Tikyah, and Jerusalem.”

“We offer our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Taylor and all those affected by these senseless attacks, and we wish a speedy recovery for the injured,” spokesman John Kirby said.

“As we have said many times, there is absolutely no justification for terrorism. We continue to encourage all parties to take affirmative steps to reduce tensions and restore calm,” the department concluded.

Twenty-nine Owen school students, accompanied by four faculty and staff, were traveling to Israel to learn about global entrepreneurship through meetings with start-up companies.

All other Vanderbilt students, faculty and staff on the trip are safe, and the university is arranging for their return and care.

Force was a first-year MBA student in the class of 2017.

“Taylor’s family and his friends and colleagues have our deepest sympathy and utmost support. He exemplified the spirit of discovery, learning and service that is the hallmark of our wonderful Owen community,” said said Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos. “This horrific act of violence has robbed our Vanderbilt family of a young hopeful life and all of the bright promise that he held for bettering our greater world.”

Force graduated from the New Mexico Military Institute, a coed boarding military high school. The school said they are “deeply saddened” to hear of his passing.

“Our Alumni are a vital part of our school and history. On behalf of New Mexico Military Institute, Our thoughts are with his family, friends and Community during this tragic time,” said Major General Jerry Grizzle, President of NMMI.

After finishing high school, Force went on to the United States Military Academy at West Point where he graduated in 2009. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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