A British missionary who was kidnapped in Nigeria last month had been killed by his captors after he sang the hymn "Amazing Grace," his fellow captives revealed.
Ian Squire, an optician from Shepperton, reportedly performed the hymn with a guitar in an attempt to cheer up his fellow hostages, but he was suddenly gunned down by one of the abductors just after he finished singing.
The 57-year-old optician was kidnapped along with Alanna Carson, David Donovan and his wife, Shirley, in Nigeria's southern Delta area in the middle of the night of Oct. 13. The abductors dragged the four aid workers from their beds, took them away in a speedboat and kept them in a shack built on stilts above a remote swamp, according to Premier.
Details of Squire's death were initially withheld, but David and Shirley have now spoken about the optician's final moments.
David said that Squire was killed on the day after they were captured, and just after he sang "Amazing Grace."
"It was the perfect song, and at that point things began to look not quite as bad. But then, after Ian finished playing, he stood up, and a salvo of gunshots killed him instantly," David recounted, as reported by Daily Mail, citing The Telegraph.
"We didn't see who did it, but it was obvious that someone in the gang had shot him. It was terrifying to see. We jumped out of the shack and into the water as we thought they were coming for us next, but a member of the gang came and put us back in there with Ian for the rest of the day," he added.
The couple said that the abductors have refused to explain why they murdered Squire, but David had speculated that one of the gang members did it for fear that the sounds from his music may alert people to their presence.
They noted that their captors, members of the Egbesu gang, were often seen drinking and taking drugs.
During their ordeal, the group kept their spirits up by playing a version of BBC Radio 4 quiz "The Unbelievable," in which participants have to tell fact from fiction, with Shirley describing the game as "prosaic but comforting."
The surviving hostages were freed after the kidnappers told them that a ransom had been paid. David recounted that the smell of the leather and air conditioning in the two SUVs that picked them up "was like stepping from one world into another."
Squire and the three other hostages had been working in the Burutu area of Delta state to provide "free medical care and religious activities," according to Chief Theo Fakama, from the local Enukorowa community.