SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) -- As Iran claims to be retaliating for America's choice to assassinate its Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, families at an apartment complex in Sacramento's Arden-Arcade area were watching the developments closely.
"One day in the morning, his wife was crying in the complex and we ask, ‘What's going on? Why are you crying?’ And she said, ‘My husband passed away,’" said Abdul Naser.
That is how Naser said he first learned from his neighbor that her husband, Nawres Waleed Hamid, had been killed on Dec. 27 when rockets hit a military compound in Iraq. The U.S. blamed Kata’ib Hezbollah, a group with ties to Iran.
"He was the best person, best communication as well to help the people. But he was a very nice person," Naser told FOX40.
Now, the attack that took the life of the linguist is thought to be the beginning of recent escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran.
"Iran killed an American contractor, wounding many. We strongly responded, and always will," tweeted President Donald Trump on Dec. 31.
"They will be held fully responsible."
Iran killed an American contractor, wounding many. We strongly responded, and always will. Now Iran is orchestrating an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. They will be held fully responsible. In addition, we expect Iraq to use its forces to protect the Embassy, and so notified!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2019
Hamid's Virginia-based employer, Valiant Integrated Services, posted a statement on their company website about the Iraqi-American contractor, saying, "We are deeply saddened by the tragic death of Nawres Hamid." They called the man who called Sacramento home with his wife and two young sons "a consummate professional."
Naser was among those who attended services for Hamid at the Greater Sacramento Muslim Cemetery on Saturday.
Hamid was 33 and had studied computer information science at American River College.
Administrators released a statement saying, “We send our hearts and thoughts to family and loved ones during this difficult time."
For those who knew Hamid, they want the U.S. government to pursue justice and find some comfort for the family he left behind.
“To protect his family, to protect their children," Naser said.