American killed in Burkina Faso attack moved there to work at orphanage

Michael Riddering was one of dozens killed when terrorists opened fire at a cafe in Burkina Faso.

Story highlights

  • Michael James Riddering was one of dozens killed in Burkina Faso terror attack
  • "I am having trouble believing he is gone," wife posts
  • He was at a cafe with a friend when the attackers opened fire

(CNN)An American who died in a terror attack in Burkina Faso moved halfway across the world with his wife to run an orphanage and women's crisis center.

Michael James Riddering was one of 28 people killed after terrorists opened fire Friday night at a cafe in the capital, Ouagadougou.
The al Qaeda-linked militants then raided a luxury hotel across the street, shooting some and taking others hostage in an overnight siege that lasted hours.
    Sheltering Wings, a missionary group that supports Riddering's orphanage, provided a detailed account of his ordeal. It said the Florida resident and his wife, Amy Riddering, worked at the orphanage in Yako, 115 kilometers (70 miles) from the capital.

    Cafe with a friend

    Riddering, 45, was in Ouagadougou to pick up a team of missionaries visiting from the United States and stopped by Cappuccino cafe with a friend, the group said.
    Michael Riddering, 45, center, moved to Burkina Faso five years ago.
    Attackers stormed in and started shooting. The friend, identified only as Pastor Valentin, hastily called Riddering's wife and told her they "urgently" needed prayers. Then the phone went dead.
    "It appears that Pastor Valentin was somehow separated from Mike during the attack and hid somewhere in the Cappuccino cafe," the missionary group said.
    Riddering's body was found in a morgue later. The pastor was rescued by security forces.

    'Best friend, partner in crime'

    In a Facebook post, Amy Riddering said the pastor called using her husband's phone.
    "Heaven has gained a warrior! I know God has a purpose in all things but sometimes it is a complete mystery to me," she posted.
    "My best friend, partner in crime and love of my