Former U.S. Marine Willy Joseph Cancel was killed while fighting against Russian forces in Ukraine, ABC News reports.
Cancel, age 22, reportedly volunteered to travel to Ukraine and fight after Russia invaded. CNN says he "was working with a private military contracting company" since mid-March, and was killed Monday.
His family confirmed his death, while a U.S. Department of State official said they "are aware of these reports and are closely monitoring the situation," but declined to comment further "due to privacy considerations." His body has not yet been found.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Friday that Cancel "certainly sounded like a very passionate young man," expressing her condolences to his family. She also urged others not to travel to Ukraine at this time. "We know people want to help, but we do encourage Americans to find other ways to do so," she said.
Cancel's wife Brittney Cancel said he "went there wanting to help people, he had always felt that that was his main mission in life." Read more at CNN.