Quinn Lucas Schansman: First American Victim Identified In Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 Tragedy

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mh17 debris An Emergencies Ministry member walks at the site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region, July 17, 2014.

At least one American has been identified as a victim of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash on Thursday; 19-year-old Quinn Lucas Schansman.

President Barack Obama identified Schansman as the first American casualty in the crash in eastern Ukraine that killed 298 people.

Quinn Schansman was a Dutch-American student on his way to meet family for a summer vacation in Bali, according to NBC News. The dual Dutch-American citizen lived most of his life in Holland but resided in Fort Lee, New Jersey. He was born in New York City at a time when his father worked for the Dutch embassy.

"You go through all the phases of mourning," his grandfather, Ronald Schansman told NBC Philadelphia. "Of course it's anger. It didn’t need to happen. A senseless thing to do."

His grandfather said Quinn was en route to join his father Thomas, stepmother and younger siblings in Indonesia and travel to Bali for holiday. Thomas Schansman is now heading to Holland to wait for the return of Quinn’s remains from the wreckage site.

"We want to know why," Ronald Schansman said. "Who shot?"

Others have joined in the mourning of Schansman, including a woman identified as the 19-year-old’s girlfriend on Facebook. The woman, Floor van Dranen, posted a photo of them kissing on the social media site.

Fabienne Schriek, a friend of Schansman’s from high school, told NBC he was kind and popular.

"He stuck up for you and made you laugh when he saw there was something wrong," Schriek told NBC News. "He was ... kind of sensitive and caring. He had a lot of friends and everybody seem[ed] to like him. If there was a fight in class he could cool everyone down again, made a joke and it was like it never happened. He was really down to earth and just [a] fun guy to have around. We are devastated.”

Most of the 298 people on board Flight 17 were from the Netherlands, Malaysia and Australia.

President Obama said on Friday that pro-Russian separatists are to blame for shooting down the Malaysia Airlines plane. He said the crash was caused by a surface-to-air missile launched from eastern Ukraine where pro-Russian separatists control the area. Obama also called for an international investigation of the crash.

“This was a global tragedy. An Asian airliner was destroyed in European skies filled with citizens from many countries, so there has to be a credible international investigation into what happened,” he said. “Their deaths are an outrage of unspeakable proportions.” 

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