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Former Corvallis man killed in New Zealand terror attacks
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Former Corvallis man killed in New Zealand terror attacks

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A former Corvallis resident is reportedly among the victims of the New Zealand mosque shootings.

Atta Elayyan, 33, a Web entrepreneur, teacher and indoor soccer goalkeeper, was killed in Friday’s attacks. Elayyan reportedly helped found one of the mosques that was targeted, along with this father, Mohammed Elayyan. Mohammed Elayyan reportedly was injured in the attacks.

It was not clear which mosque the Elayyan family was affiliated with. Media reports indicated the family helped found it in 1993.

Atta Elayyan attended Wilson Elementary School in north Corvallis, but no other information on his life in the mid-valley was available, including what years he and his family lived here.

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Local and international Facebook and Twitter sites mourned his loss, offered prayers of support for his family and grappled fiercely with trying to make sense of the tragedy, the deadliest mass shooting in modern New Zealand history.

Elayyan was the national indoor soccer, or futsal, goalie for New Zealand, and his death was noted via Twitter by FIFA, the organization that governs international soccer.

“My Heart is broken,” read one Twitter post. “A role model to myself and so many in the futsal community, a loving KIWI father, husband and futsal player. You won’t ever meet a more down to earth, humbling person. May you Rest in Peace, my friend.”

Elayyan, born June 21, 1985, was a Kuwaiti-born Palestinian who moved from Corvallis to Christchurch, New Zealand, in his preteen years, according to  media reports. He was married with an infant daughter. Friends in Oregon said he used to return to the state for technology conferences into his adulthood, but no word was available regarding when his last such visit might have occurred.

Elayyan graduated from Christchurch Boys High School, studied computer science at the University of Canterbury and was the CEO and co-founder of LWA Solutions, an internet startup.

On his LinkedIn page Elayyan described himself as “a tech entrepreneur with an extensive background in (user experience design) and a passion for leveraging the latest mobile technology to facilitate innovative, user-centered solutions that address complex problems. I am currently focused on leading a talented team of individuals as we deliver bleeding edge mobile solutions that streamline business processes, empower mobile workers and delight customers.”

Contact reporter James Day at jim.day@gazettetimes.com or 541-758-9542. Follow at Twitter.com/jameshday or gazettetimes.com/blogs/jim-day.

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