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Second Colorado man dies while fighting ISIS in Syria

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- A second Colorado man has been shot and killed fighting ISIS in Syria.

It's believed 22-year-old Jordan MacTaggart was killed on Aug. 3 while fighting alongside Kurdish forces.

"American YPG fighter Jordan MacTaggart KIA few days ago in Manbij," the group Assisting the Volunteers of Rojava wrote on Facebook. "We have lost a great hero."

Friends said MacTaggert had no previous military training before joining the People's Protection Unit (YPG). They said it's something he just felt compelled to do.

"He wanted to do something radical because he wanted the world to be a radically better place, ultimately," good friend Cat Coffman said.

Many friends said they were surprised when MacTaggart told them of his plans to fight in Syria. Many tried to talk him out of it.

"The craziest thing I think is he didn't have a direct connection. He doesn't even know anyone out there," friend Benjamin Poettmann said.

However, most ultimately supported his decision, saying it was in line with the way MacTaggart lived his life.

"He created his own path. He did what he felt was right, regardless of what anyone else had to say about it," friend Sidney Seymour said.

Friends said MacTaggart was well aware of the dangers he was facing.

"Like he said to me, he said you know I might die out there. And it's like yeah, I do. Unfortunately, I do," Poettmann said.

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MacTaggart survived a close call in fall 2015. He returned home to Castle Rock in October after being shot in the leg. He spent an entire night hiding under a pile of rocks before crawling to safety. Most figured he was home to stay.

"He recovered, came back here and still said 'I'm going back in January,'" Poettmann said.

Despite the risks, most of MacTaggart's friends said they were still shocked to learn he had been killed.

"I was very proud of him and I don`t want to speak for all his friends, but in general, we were all very proud of him. He was so inspiring to us," Coffman said.

MacTaggart's family said in a statement they supported their son's efforts in Syria despite initially trying to talk him out of it.

"Our son made a clear minded, well researched decision to travel to Syria and join forces with the YPG – A Kurdish militia made up of male and female civilians. All volunteers organized and determined to fight the evil that is ISIS. Jordan admired the Kurds from afar and grew to love them as a people and eventually his comrades in arms.

Their cause became his. Without regret or remorse he was in Syria to do his best to help them. He was welcomed and loved in return. He spoke so highly of them and his fellow foreign fighters from all over the globe.

We love him unconditionally. We support him completely and our sincerest wish is that no one turns a blind eye to this ongoing Kurdish revolution. We support this cause and the selfless men and women in the YPG/YPJ." -- Robert, Melissa and Amanda MacTaggart

MacTaggart is the second Coloradan to be killed fighting Isis in recent weeks. Last month, 24-year-old Levi Shirley of Arvada died during combat in Syria. Both men knew each other and fought for YPG.