An American teacher working at an international school in Benghazi, Libya was shot and killed this morning while jogging. The State Department has confirmed that an American was killed, but the details are still emerging.
Details from Fox News include:
- The victim's name is Ronnie Smith, a 33-year-old chemistry teacher from Texas who had been at the International School for about 18 months and was planning on returning to America for the holidays in a few days.
- Smith had been jogging near the US Consulate where the infamous September 2012 attacks occurred.
- He was loved at the school and seems to have been targeted arbitrarily. School board member Adel Mansouri said, "He was doing his morning exercise when gunmen just shot him. I don't know why. He was so sweet with everyone."
Nobody has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but most believe Islamist militants are behind the murder.
Smith's friends and students mourned the heartbreaking tragedy on Twitter. Here are just a few of their sentiments:
Thank you, sir, for believing in our Libyan children when half of their own country had given up on them. #Smith— Noor Hewaidi ? (@noorhewaidi) December 5, 2013
#MrSmithMemories baked me 2 batches of peanut butter cookies on my birthday and sang happy birthday in arabic— yomna ? (@yzentani) December 5, 2013
Mr.Smith will be dearly missed by everyone in ISB. He was the best teacher I've ever had. Always ready to work, always in a good mood (1)— mufasa (@Mustafa_Bug) December 5, 2013
Townhall will follow up with updates as they break but would like to echo State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf's statement to The New York Times emphasizing the importance of respecting the privacy of Smith's family at this time.