Officials said a soldier stationed at Fort Bragg was shot to death Wednesday near the North Carolina army base.
Staff Sergeant Jimmy Smith, 24, was found dead from a gunshot wound shortly after 10:30 p.m. in Raeford, North Carolina, about 20 miles from Fort Bragg, according to military officials.
Smith’s death appears to be connected to a Wednesday domestic-related shooting in nearby Harnett County involving two other Fort Bragg soldiers, investigative sources told WRAL.
Brandon A. Amos-Dixon was arrested in the first shouting for allegedly shooting at his fiancée, also a soldier, and her child in a car.
Authorities did not name a third Fort Bragg soldier who was said to be involved in the incident.
Smith’s murder is still under investigation. The Hoke County Sheriff’s Department could not be reached Friday.
Smith was a member of the 3rd Special Forces Group Airborne division at Fort Bragg.
“Jimmy was a culinary specialist assigned to Group Support Battalion and was highly respected by his peers, subordinates, and leaders alike,” Smith’s unit said.
According to the Army Times, Smith was a decorated soldier who received the National Defense Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Army Parachutist Badge, and other awards.
He joined the Army in 2016 and served in South Korea. He was also deployed to Jordan in 2020 to support Operation Inherent Resolve before arriving at Fort Bragg in March 2020.
“Jimmy was more than just an NCO, he was a mentor, a shoulder to cry on, a comedian at times, but most of all a great friend,” Spc. Roenice Todd, a fellow soldier in the battalion, said in a statement. “It was truly an honor to be able to learn from him.”
Smith’s death is the latest in a string of tragedies for Fort Bragg. According to the Army Times, at least 13 members of the base are being investigated for alleged criminal drug activity.
Seven soldiers who were the last to see a Fort Bragg paratrooper on a camping trip last year were apprehended after the 21-year-severed old’s head washed ashore.