The Bay Area lost one of its own last night after U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens was killed at the U.S. consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi. Stevens, who was appointed to his post earlier this year, died from smoke inhalation following the grenade attack, the New York Times reports.
Stevens was a Bay Area native who earned his undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley, and a law degree from UC Hastings College of Law. He also has an M.S. from the National War College, according to local news reports.
UC Hastings Law Chancellor and Dean Frank H. Wu issued the following statement late last night:
On behalf of the faculty and staff of University of California Hastings College of the Law, I express sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens, Class of 1989. The Ambassador was performing the highest role that a lawyer is called upon to perform: public service. He and I communicated when he was appointed Ambassador. He had been looking forward to sharing his experiences with students when he returned. This is a tragedy. We mourn this loss.
Stevens was killed along with three of his staff, reportedly in response to an American-made video mocking Islam's founding prophet, Muhammad. The roughly 14-minute video, titled "Innocence of Muslims" was released on the Internet, provoking the attacks on the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorism attacks. The California-based maker of this video has reportedly gone into hiding since last night's attacks.
Stevens served in Benghazi during the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi -- and he was widely supportive of the people's struggle, which earned him admiration from Libyan rebels.
"Now I'm excited to return to Libya to continue the
great work we've started building a solid partnership between the
United States in Libya to help you, the Libyan people, to achieve your