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Deadly Texas shooting rampage suspect a decorated Camp Lejeune Marine

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Lance Cpl. Esteban Jimene Smith Lance Cpl. Esteban Jimene Smith

The Camp Lejeune Marine behind a deadly shooting spree in Texas was a decorated Marine who deployed twice to Afghanistan, military officials say.

Law enforcement in Texas shot and killed Lance Cpl. Esteban Jimene Smith, 23, of Bakersfield, California, after they say he shot six people in an early morning shooting rampage on Sunday. Five were injured and a 41-year-old woman died, police said.

Smith joined the Marine Corps in November 2008 as a rifleman, deploying to Afghanistan from August 2010 to May 2011, and again from April 2012 to November 2012, said Master Sgt. Jonathan Cress, Camp Lejeune spokesman.

Smith deployed with the 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division. His personal awards include the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and a Combat Action Ribbon, said Cress.

Smith was also awarded the Afghanistan Campaign Medal (2nd award), a Navy Unit Commendation (2nd award), Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (2nd award), and the NATO Medal - International Security Assistance Force, Afghanistan.

Police say Smith murdered his wife, 21-year-old Rubi Estefania Smith, also of Bakersfield, California, before his deadly shooting spree in Texas. Jacksonville police found her body Sunday afternoon at the Sunset Inn on Western Boulevard with trauma from a stab wound.

"He lived on Camp Lejeune, so he didn't live out in town. That's the reason they were in the motel," said Chief Michael Yaniero of the Jacksonville Police Department.

Police say after Smith murdered his wife, he traveled to Texas. Onslow County district attorney Ernie Lee believes Smith had family there.

"I guess what bothers me so much about this case is not only is there a tragedy now for the victim's family here in Onslow County, but now we got victims out in the state of Texas too," said Lee.

The Texas Department of Public Safety says around 4:30 Sunday morning, Smith began randomly shooting at people from his pickup truck in Concho County, Texas killing a woman, 41-year-old Alicia Torres, and injuring five. One of those injured was the Concho County Sheriff.

"I know there are a lot of families out there suffering right now because of either wounded or lost loved ones," said Lee.

Following a police pursuit, Smith died in a shootout with a game warden and a trooper. Texas police recovered an assault rifle, a handgun, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

"NCIS is helping us coordinate this investigation," said Yaniero.

Law enforcement is now investigating three sets of crime scenes: those in Texas, the one at the motel, and Smith's room at Camp Lejeune.

Police say they're not sure how long Smith's wife was dead before they found her. They're waiting on autopsy results to find that out, said Yaniero.

--- Original Story ---

The death of a Camp Lejeune Marine's wife found in a Jacksonville hotel is being investigated as a homicide.

The Jacksonville Police Department said an active duty Camp Lejeune Marine is linked to the deaths of two women, one in Jacksonville and one in Texas.

21 year old Rubi Estefania Smith of Bakersfield, California was found dead Sunday afternoon at a Jacksonville hotel. She's the wife of Estaban J. Smith.

Police found her body at the Sunset Inn at 497 Western Boulevard. The investigation revealed that she suffered from trauma consistent with a knife wound.

Evidence collected in the multi-agency investigation points to Esteban Smith as being responsible for his wife's death.

Smith is also connected to the death of 41-year-old Alicia Torres of Eola, TX, said Cress. Texas authorities say Smith shot and killed Torres, who was found dead in her car early Sunday morning.

Texas authorities said Torres was one of Smith's six victims in a shooting spree that began around 4:30 AM Sunday. The shooting spree left five injured and one dead. One of the shooting victims was the Concho County sheriff.

Smith was killed Sunday morning in a shootout with Texas law enforcement following his alleged shooting spree.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and Jacksonville Police Department continue investigating the death of the woman in Jacksonville.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact JPD Detective Derek Simmons at (910) 455-4000 or dsimmons@ci.jacksonville.nc.us.

Crime Stoppers (910) 389- 3273 offers rewards of up to $2,500 for information leading to an arrest. Callers to Crime Stoppers are not required to reveal their identities.

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