Before Murder, Marine's Wife Surprised Him With NC Visit
Esteban Smith's mom has no idea what prompted killings
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2013 10:19 AM CDT
Cars enter the main gate at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, NC on Friday, Dec. 2, 2005.   (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

(Newser) – Esteban Smith, the Marine accused of going on a random shooting spree in Texas on Sunday after killing his wife, had just married Rubi Estefania Smith in December. She recently traveled from their California hometown to North Carolina, where he was stationed at Camp Lejeune, to surprise him, Smith's mother tells the AP. She has no idea what happened and didn't know of any problems between the couple, but says, "Maybe they argued and he went crazy." Rubi Estefania Smith was found dead of a knife wound in a Jacksonville motel room near Camp Lejeune.

As for why Smith would then have traveled to Texas, "maybe he was driving home" to Bakersfield, his mother said. "That's the road he would take." Eden, Texas, where Smith allegedly killed one person and hurt five others before dying in a shootout with police, is more than 22 hours from Jacksonville by car. Smith's mother insists he was "a very bright, quiet, calm man. He was the type of person that would not even like when you would raise your voice." She says he was planning to leave the military and go to college for mechanical engineering. He had served two tours in Afghanistan.

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Showing 3 of 20 comments
snappydan32
May 30, 2013 9:27 AM CDT
Here's my speculation. He had PTSD from his service. His wife had Borderline Personality Disorder. She goes off and has a Borderline fit, his PTSD kicks in, he blacks out and kills her, then realizing what he has done, and not knowing what else to do, heads home. On the way something else happens leading to the shooting spree. It's all speculation on my part, but it's not any worse than the "she thought he was cheating" comment. I was married to a Borderline and could certainly see a combat veteran snapping and killing one.
XFACTOR
May 29, 2013 9:07 PM CDT
The military teaches you to kill. Kill or be killed. When you go to other countries that don't live under our rules, sometime some can't make the difference when they get back here. What in the hell do you expect, go to the source, the ones that screws up the mind of some. Been there, done that.
tguernsey
May 29, 2013 8:54 PM CDT
Pure speculation on my part, but wonder if she went b/c she thought he was cheating? And, he went off after they fought when she showed up due to her catching him or him feeling accused/ mistrusted & spied on? It's unfair to expect the mother to be able to explain or justify her son's behavior- I doubt either of them confided in her or that she modeled/ encouraged killing. That poor mom is probably hurt, grieving, confused, & stunned, & devastated & deserves our sympathy, not informally "tried" for her son's heinous crime.