JACKSONVILLE, ONSLOW COUNTY - Police said the woman found dead in a Jacksonville motel room was the wife of the suspected gunman in a deadly shooting rampage in Texas.
According to investigators, 21-year-old Rubi Estefania Smith, of Bakersfield, Calif., was found with a knife wound Sunday afternoon. Her body was at the Sunset Inn at 497 Western Blvd. in Jacksonville.
Police said it appears her husband, 23-year-old LCpl. Esteban J. Smith, a Camp Lejeune Marine, was responsible for her death.
Smith was also allegedly responsible for a deadly shooting spree 1,500 miles away. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, Smith fired randomly at several vehicles as he drove in and around Concho County early Sunday morning.
One woman was killed in the rampage: she has been identified as 41-year-old Alicia Torres. Investigators said they found her shot to death inside her car in Eola.
Her cousin, Ernest Torres, was next door when it happened.
"Things like this don't happen in Eola. I mean, it's rare for anything like this to happen. It's really random," said Ernest. "She was a nice person who didn't have any enemies. Why someone would shoot her, we don't know."
In addition, Smith is accused of shooting and injuring five people in Texas, including Concho County Sheriff Richard Doane, investigators said. The sheriff and another victim remained hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.
The rampage ended when Smith was killed Sunday in a shootout with Texas authorities, investigators said. An assault rifle, a handgun, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition were recovered. Investigators did not explain a motive.
Smith was a rifleman with the 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejeune, according to base officials.
Smith first deployed to Afghanistan from August 2010 to May 2011, according to Marine Corps spokeswoman Capt. Maureen T. Krebs. He returned to Afghanistan with his unit in April 2012 and remained there until November, Krebs said.
In addition to Jacksonville Police, the Texas Rangers, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and the The Naval Criminal Investigative Service are also looking into the case.