CATASAUQUA, Pa. - Family and friends are mourning the death of a Lehigh County man after they say he was shot and killed in Syria this week.
Nazih "Nick" Mouhrez, 51, of Catasauqua, was originally from Syria and was shot there Wednesday.
"It's to our understanding he was traveling with his sister and her two daughters, 21 and 19, I believe. The 21 year-old had a four-month-old baby with her," said relative Richard Koury. "They were traveling on their way back to Damascus, probably about ten minutes from their house and a sniper from the opposition fired at the car."
Members of the local Syrian community gathered in Catasauqua Friday night to pay their respects and remember Mouhrez.
"He was always funny, he was always nice, he was always giving," said his son Nasr, 19. "He said if he was going to go, he wanted to go in Syria."
Mouhrez also leaves behind a wife and 22 year-old daughter.
Relatives say he was a supporter of the Syrian government and still had family in the country, and made several trips there to help people affected by the turmoil.
"He was interviewed a few times on television. He recently met with Bashar al-Assad, the president of Syria," said Koury. "We don't think he was targeted but it is a possibility."
"He was active actually at the end, we understand, with reconciliation, trying to get the parties, the government and the people against the government, together," explained Koury.
Those who knew Mouhrez say he was very active in the community.
"He was always in charity work, he always got involved in humanitarian help," said friend Aziz Wehbey.
Koury said Mouhrez's niece was also hit by metal or shrapnel during the incident Wednesday and is doing okay.
There will be a funeral in Syria for Mouhrez Saturday.
A memorial service will be held Sunday at St. George's Antiochian Church on Catasauqua Avenue in Allentown. It begins at 11:30 a.m. and the public is invited to attend.
Allentown, PA 18102