SEATTLE - A Seattle couple and a couple from California were killed by Somali pirates who captured the Americans days earlier. Friends are mourning the loss of Dr. Bob Riggle and Phyllis Macay.

A few years back, you would often be able to find Dr. Riggle at the Seattle Animal Shelter. He filled in as a veterinarian when the shelterwas short staffed.

He was just a nice, gentle person, said Kim Webb.

Now those whoworked beside Riggleare in disbelief.

Here we are with the very sad outcome, said theshelter'sExecutive Director, Don Jordan.

It has not sunk in yet, added Dr. Mary Ellen Zoulas.

Dr. Zoulas received the news at work Tuesday morning, that her worst fears about herfriend Bob and his girlfriend, Phyllis Macay, had happened.

When we first heard there were some Americans captured by pirates, I saiditcan't be Bob, he wouldn't do that, he knew it was a dangerous area, she said.

She said he hadtalked with her about the danger pirates presented and planned precautions. But Friday the yacht Bob and Phyllis were travelingin, along with a couple from California, was overtaken by Somalia pirates off the coast of Oman.

At the Animal Shelter, Bob's friends had been following closely, watching news reports all weekend. They knewtheU.S Navy was shadowing the hijacked yacht, trying to help the captured Americans.

Idon't think anybody thought there was a chance they'd be killed, said Dr. Zoulas.

Then Dr. Zoulas and everyone elselearned what happened. The pirates reportedly waged an attack, firing a rocket propelled grenade at a U.S.Navy ship. Gunfire erupted, and some pirates surrendered. WhenU.S. Forces boarded the yacht, they found the four Americans dead.

We're justin shock. We truly thought they would make it back, said Dr. Zoulas.

Four pirates were killed in the early morning attack.Fifteen pirates are being detained.

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