CHICAGO (CBS)– A Chicago mother says her son is one of three Americans killed in Sunday’s extremist attack in Kenya.

Loved ones confirm Henry “Mitch” Mayfield Jr., a United States army specialist from south suburban Hazel Crest, was killed in a raid in Kenya.

 

The pre-dawn raid happened early Sunday at Manda Bay Airfield, a base shared by U.S. and Kenyan forces near Nairobi.

He was just 23-years-old.

Mayfield Jr. joined the armed forces in June of 2018 after studying at Northern Illinois University.

His mother Carmoneta Horton-Mayfield shared  photos of her son on Facebook, She also wrote a post, thanking everyone for reaching out to her and her husband about their loss and asking them to continue praying for her family.

His family was too emotional to speak on camera, but a neighbor, Hazel Crest Village Clerk Isaac Wiseman, shared his thoughts on Mayfield’s life.

“Outstanding young man, always polite, always just very nice. It’s breaking my heart. It really is, it’s breaking my heart,” Wiseman said. “I just saw him this summer. I don’t have words to say. It’s just breaking my heart.”

Another neighbor, Army veteran Rochelle Crump, president of National Women Veterans United, also said she’s heartbroken by Mayfield’s death.

“Too often we’re hearing this, but we don’t take it lightly. When we lose one, it affects every last one of us,” she said. “Knowing that we’ve lost one, we have to come together to support that family.”

Officials said the attack that killed Mayfield and two other Americans continued for hours, with U.S. and Kenyan forces teaming up to repel the raiders.

Al-Shabab, a group linked to Al-Qaeda, is claiming responsibility for the attack.

U.S. and Kenyan troops worked together to repel the assault and in the end, they killed five attackers.

The other two Americans killed were both military contractors.

Two Department of Defense members were also wounded.

Mayfield’s parents were heading to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Monday night. They plan to return to Chicago on Tuesday with their son’s body, as they begin working with the military to make arrangements for his funeral.