Colleagues of an American software executive killed in Kuwait while working on a military contract remembered him as hardworking and caring.
Michael Pouliot "was devoted to his work, but first and foremost he was devoted to his wife and children," said Riny Schoenmakers, who founded Tapestry Solutions Corp. with Pouliot and other partners in 1993.
Pouliot and a colleague, David Caraway, were midway through a two-week job in Kuwait installing software for the U.S. military when they were ambushed Tuesday as they drove near a base. Caraway was seriously wounded. A suspect was arrested in Saudi Arabia, a Kuwaiti security officer said Thursday.
Pouliot, 46, was a native of Manchester, N.H., who had lived in San Diego County for more than 20 years. He and his wife, Carol, were to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary this year. The couple has two daughters, ages 12 and 14.
"Mike lived his life with strong principles and beliefs about his country," said Renea Aswegan, an accountant at Tapestry Solutions, speaking outside their company's San Diego headquarters. She said he "always felt very proud and honored to be able to contribute to his country, given the current political events."
U.S. authorities were working Wednesday to have Pouliot's body flown to Germany, and then back to the United States, the company said.
"We were business partners, but we were friends first. ... I loved working with Michael," Schoenmakers said tearfully.
Caraway, 38, was shot several times; he was in hospitalized Wednesday in stable condition.
Caraway's mother said she learned of the attack while watching television, not from his company or the government.
"I had a big, heavy feeling in my chest though because that's what my son does over there," Joanne Caraway said in an interview on the "Today" show. She said her fears that her son was involved were confirmed on a later newscast.
Joanne Caraway said the American Embassy finally put her in touch with her son. The family said he sounded in good spirits.
"He has been concerned lately because it's in an uproar over there," she said. "He was scheduled to come home this Saturday and he couldn't wait to get home."
Nobody has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The shooting was the first assault on U.S. civilians in Kuwait, an oil-rich emirate where thousands of U.S. troops are assembling for a possible war on Iraq. But there have been two attacks on American military personnel since October.
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