No Texas links for Marine in shooting spree, authorities say

A bullet hole is left in a window after a shooting spree in Texas.

Story highlights

  • The Marine in a Texas shooting spree has no known ties to the state, an official says
  • Investigators don't know why Esteban Smith was in Texas, the official says
  • Texas authorities killed Smith Sunday after the deadly shooting spree
  • He's also believed responsible for the stabbing death of his wife in North Carolina
The U.S. Marine believed responsible for the stabbing death of his wife in North Carolina along with a deadly shooting spree some 1,300 miles away in Texas had no known ties to the Lone Star State, authorities there said Wednesday.
Lance Cpl. Esteban J. Smith, 23, died Sunday in a shootout with Texas authorities after going on a two-hour rampage that left one person dead and five wounded, according to investigators.
Police in Jacksonville, North Carolina, also believe he stabbed his wife to death.
Authorities don't know why Smith, an active duty Marine from Bakersfield, California, was 1,300 miles away from his duty station at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, said Tom Vinger, spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Tuesday, survivors of Smith's Texas shooting spree said they were thankful to be alive.
"I don't know how we survived it," Casimiro Solis told CNN affiliate KTAB.
He said he and his wife, Charlotte Feldman, were on their way to work in Brady, Texas, when a man police identified as Smith came up to them with a "dead blank" look on his face and started firing.
Authorities counted 16 bullet holes in their truck.
Solis said hardware that attaches the shoulder belt to the truck caused one bullet that would have gone through Feldman to instead ricochet into the truck's top.
"I really thought the side of my face was shot off," Feldman told the station.
Feldman and Solis suffered only minor wounds in the attack.
In addition to Feldman and Solis, police say Smith killed Alicia Torres, 41, in Eola, Texas, shot at two people in Eden, Texas, and wounded Concho County Sheriff Richard Doane just north of Eden in central Texas.
Smith died in a firefight with state troopers and a game warden who arrived shortly after that incident.
Authorities found an assault rifle, a handgun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in Smith's pickup.
Smith's wife, Rubi Estenania Smith, 21, was discovered dead Sunday afternoon at a motel near Camp Lejeune, according to police in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
Police located Rubi Smith's body after agents with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service working on the Texas incident found some sort of evidence on Smith and contacted them for help.
Police didn't describe the evidence.
It appeared she had been stabbed, police said.
Esteban Smith was a Marine rifleman who had served two tours in Afghanistan with the 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, according to the Marine Corps.
He first deployed to Afghanistan from August 2010 to May 2011, then again from April 2012 until November.