Al-Qaeda Islamic terrorists claimed responsibility for the killing, accusing Shrum of trying to convert Muslims. Meanwhile, the people Shrum devoted his life to are mourning the loss of their beloved teacher and friend and are demanding the murderers be caught and tried.
The young Yemenis said Shrum was gunned down in his car for no good reason. He had worked in the Islamic nation for the past two years, teaching poor people English and vocational skills. ”Mr. Joel came all the way from the United States of America, having nothing but good intentions to help and teach the people of Taiz.” Shrum is survived by his wife and 2 young boys, who moved with him to Yemen in 2009.