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Father remembers 11-year-old son killed in Sri Lanka bombing

Posted at 5:10 PM, Apr 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-23 14:00:50-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Articulate, insightful and making everyone he met better - that is how Alex Arrow describes his 11-year-old son Kieran Shafritz de Zoysa, who was killed in a bombing at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.

"I don't know what is in the mind of a terrorist, but I'm sure they do not know what they took, they do not know what they took from the world," Arrow said. "They took a great mind who was going to be a neuroscientist and work on Alzheimer's diseases."

The father says he got the news about the bombing and his son's death Saturday night, due to time changes, having tried to call his son just an hour before.

"He texted me back 'can't talk right now' because he was in the elevator going to breakfast," Arrow said. "It was about an hour after that when my phone started ringing."

Those return calls were Kieran's mother trying to reach Arrow with news about the attack. Kiernan was at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel for the breakfast buffet when the suicide bomber detonated the device. The father said doctors told him Kiernan was killed instantly.

"The terrorists didn't know what they were killing, but we should know what the world lost," Arrow said.

He broke down at various points as he spoke about his only child. He also recalled special moments of their last visit when Kieran returned to San Diego from Sri Lanka for spring break.

"He wanted to go kayaking. In fact, his mom told me on the plane ride back to Sri Lanka last week he said he wanted to come back and do more kayaking. You know it is a good time for some father talks. We had some deep talks out there," Arrow said.

Kieran was set to finish his third semester in Sri Lanka in the coming weeks before returning to Washington, D.C. for 7th grade at the prestigious Sidwell Friends school.

His father said he was hoping to attend Harvard just like both his parents.