It has been reported that a United States Marine who went on a shooting spree across two Texas counties before being shot and killed in a firefight has been linked to a woman’s body found in a North Carolina motel room.
Authorities have not been able to say why Esteban J Smith aged 23 went on the deadly shooting spree. Smith was based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Police have said that Smith began his shooting spree at around 4:30 in the morning when the marine, who was driving a pickup truck, started firing at another vehicle in Eden, Texas, shooting and wounding an unidentified woman.
According to the police, Smith then drove to a convenience store in Brady, Texas which is in McCulloch County, where he shot and injured two more people as they sat in their vehicle. The two victims were treated and released.
The marine then headed back to Eden, Texas, where he shot at another vehicle at around 5:30 in the morning. His fourth victim was also treated and released.
Just after 6:00 in the morning, Concho County sheriff’s deputies responded to a call of “shots fired” in Eola, Texas and upon arriving the deputies found 41 year-old Alicia Torres dead in her car.
Roughly 15 minutes later, Sheriff Richard Doane caught up with Smith’s pickup truck north of Eden on U.S. Highway 83. As state troopers moved in to assist, the Marine shot and wounded Doane, officials said.
This incident provoked a shootout that involved a state trooper and a game warden exchanging shots with Smith. At the conclusion of the shootout, the marine was killed, officials said. It was also reported that Smith was armed with an assault type rifle, a handgun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
Several hours after the Texas shootout, a woman’s body was found in a motel room in Jacksonville, North Carolina, which is about 20 miles from Camp Lejeune. Circumstances of the woman’s death are not known and authorities do not know at what time she died.
A spokesman for Camp Lejune, in a statement to the NBC station WITN, confirmed that the 23 year old Smith was connected to both incidents. Camp Lejune officials have not been available for any further statements.
A spokeswoman for the Jacksonville Police Department, Beth Purcell has said that no further information would be released until Tuesday.
By Michael Smith