Local News

Lejeune Marine linked to Texas shooting rampage

Posted May 27, 2013
Updated May 28, 2013

— A man suspected in a West Texas shooting rampage that left one woman dead and five others wounded was a Marine who was wanted for questioning in a slaying in North Carolina, officials said Monday.

The rampage Sunday morning ended when Esteban J. Smith, 23, of the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base, N.C., died in a gunfight with an agency trooper and a state game warden, said Tom Vinger, spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Six others were shot, one fatally, in the pre-dawn rampage across West Texas' rolling plains, Vinger said in a statement issued Monday.

Three people were treated for their wounds in hospitals and discharged. Two others, including Concho County Sheriff Richard Doane, remained hospitalized with non-life-threatening wounds. Texas authorities said the gunman seemed to choose his targets at random.

Camp Lejeune officials would not confirm the suspect's name. However, spokesman Master Sgt. J.D. Cress said in an emailed statement that authorities were investigating a possible connection between the Texas shooting and a homicide in Jacksonville, N.C., near the Marine base. He also confirmed that the Texas shooting suspect was an active duty Marine.

The Texas shootings began about 4:30 a.m. Sunday, when the gunman shot a motorist in the Eden area of Concho County, about 40 miles southeast of San Angelo and 210 miles southwest of Dallas. She was hospitalized in San Angelo with non-life-threatening wounds, Vinger said.

Over the next 90 minutes, two more people were shot while sitting in a car at a convenience store in adjacent McCulloch County. Both were treated for their wounds and discharged from a hospital, Vinger said.

Shortly after 6 a.m., Alicia Torres, 41, was found dead in her car in Eola, just east of San Angelo, Vinger said.

The suspect fired on the vehicle of Concho County Sheriff Richard Doane when the sheriff came upon him north of Eden, according to DPS. Doane was wounded in the gunfire and hospitalized with non-life-threatening wounds, Vinger said.

A state trooper and game warden came upon the scene and exchanged gunfire with the suspect, who was killed.

An assault rifle, handgun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition were recovered from his vehicle, Vinger said.

15 Comments

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  • Plenty Coups May 28, 1:30 p.m.

    "Spending more on mental health would be a great thing but the money has to come from somewhere."

    So I guess that is no longer the republican talking point? I guess that was so January and February.

  • give me no quarter May 28, 12:42 p.m.

    It's funny how people misconstrue pure evil with mental health issues and gun control. Spending more on mental health would be a great thing but the money has to come from somewhere. As for stricter gun laws, the criminals will always have access to firearms. As someone else suggested, cut the freebies for those that will not work, the free cell phones, the free gas, food and lodging. Apply that money toward infrasrtucture, mental health or any host of worthwhile causes.

  • Plenty Coups May 28, 12:18 p.m.

    bombay-"Plenty Coups ... as usual -- all twisted up your own way.
    sources please?"

    I'm "twisted up" when I'm right?

    Republican senate proposing cuts to mental health:

    http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/05/27/2921522/senate-budget-cuts-mental-health.html

    NC General Assembly eliminates funding for armed security guards in schools (they also cut money for guidance counselors-those who might intervene with troubled youth):

    http://www.wral.com/stripped-down-school-safety-bill-clears-house/12380819/

  • Terkel May 28, 11:54 a.m.

    If this young boy's history were examined, I'd bet you'd find he was treated chemically for "ADHD" at some point.

  • bombayrunner May 28, 11:49 a.m.

    moderator ... I made a comment about being half crazy when you join and sometimes worse after you get out. Now ... this is speaking from EXPERIENCE. What do you think they teach in the Marine Corps? knitting? they teach you HOW TO KILL.

  • bombayrunner May 28, 11:46 a.m.

    Plenty Coups ... as usual -- all twisted up your own way.

    sources please?

  • Plenty Coups May 28, 11:43 a.m.

    "they gotta cut it so they can take care of your other deadbeats you are always crying about."

    AAAhh, so they don't mean what they say. Got it. That much is clear. Just give lip service to what they don't really value. Things like public schools and mental health services.

  • MitziGaynor May 28, 11:35 a.m.

    Hmm, I prefer to WAIT FOR THE FACTS then "assume" anything about why this guy did it.

  • mattcli May 28, 11:25 a.m.

    "Democrats need to keep pushing for gun control. Mental health checks and a stronger system could have at least made it a little more difficult for this guy to go on a shooting spree."

    So, it still would have happened, it just would have been a day or a week later. Yeah, that's totally worth making life more difficult for everyone just to delay this guy or force him to use different means to harm people.

  • Crumps Br0ther May 28, 11:03 a.m.

    Interesting how the republicans in the NC state senate once again proposed a cut to the states mental health services. That follows after they declined to provide armed security in the schools. I kept hearing after Sandy Hook from conservatives that we don't need to restrict assault rifles or do universal background checks just provide armed guards in schools and spend more on mental health. Why don't they do what they advocate???
    Plenty Coups

    they gotta cut it so they can take care of your other deadbeats you are always crying about. Seems to me there were plenty of nuts running around when Bev was in charge too, where was your concern then? Selective outrage is selective.

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