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Navy SEAL, Keating grandson killed in Iraq

Posted: 9:14 PM, May 03, 2016
Updated: 2016-05-04 04:20:46Z

PHOENIX -- The Navy SEAL killed in Iraq on Tuesday was identified as Charlie Keating IV, a former Phoenix high school star distance runner and the grandson of the late Arizona financier involved in the 1980s savings and loan scandal.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced Keating died in an Islamic State group attack near the city of Irbil.

He's the third American serviceman to die in combat in Iraq since the U.S.-led coalition launched its campaign against the Islamic State in the summer of 2014, according to military officials.

Ducey ordered all state flags be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset Wednesday in honor of Keating, who also was the cousin of former Olympic swimming champion Gary Hall Jr.

Keating's grandfather, Charles H. Keating Jr., who died in 2014 at age 90, was the notorious financier who served prison time for his role in the costliest savings and loan failure of the 1980s. Keating Jr. grew up in Cincinnati and attended St. Xavier High School and, briefly, the University of Cincinnati. Swimming facilities at both schools bear the family name.

Charlie Keating IV, 31, attended the Naval Academy before becoming a Navy SEAL based out of Coronado, California.

A 2004 graduate of Phoenix's Arcadia High School, Keating was city and region champion in the 1,600-meter run as a sophomore, junior and senior.

Rob Reniewicki, Keating's former track coach at Arcadia, said he has kept it touch with him through Facebook over the years, and he is heartbroken by the news.

"I'm devastated. I'm crushed. I'm trying to hold myself together," Reniewicki told Phoenix TV station KTVK.

Keating was planning to get married in November, Reniewicki said.

Keating earned all-city and first-team all-state honors as a senior, according to Indiana University, where he ran in college.