FORT BRAGG, N.C. (WNCN) — A 3rd Special Forces Group soldier was killed Wednesday in a shooting in Raeford, the U.S. Army said Friday.

Staff Sgt. Jimmy Lee Smith III, 24, was pronounced dead by emergency medical services
upon their arrival at the scene, according to the Army.

“Jimmy was a tremendous teammate and paratrooper,” said Col. John D. Bishop, commander of
3rd Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne). “He was an outstanding
culinary specialist and an absolute asset to 3rd Group. More importantly, he was a great human
being. Like all members of 3rd Group, Jimmy and his family will always be part of the ‘The
Tribe.’ Our thoughts, prayers, and condolences are with his loved ones, friends, and teammates
through this incredibly difficult time.”

The Army said Smith’s leadership and comradery left an impact on his team.

“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,” said Spc. Roenice Todd, a Group Support Battalion member. “It
was truly an honor to be able to learn from him.”

Smith joined the Army in 2016 and served in the 2nd Infantry Division at Camp Humphreys,
South Korea, and in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg before arriving to
3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) in March 2020. Smith served with distinction as a culinary
specialist in the Group’s Support Battalion.

Smith deployed to Jordan in 2020 in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. His awards and
decorations include the Army Commendation Medal (four oak leaf clusters), Army Achievement
Medal (four oak leaf clusters), Army Good Conduct Medal (one oak leaf cluster), National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on
Terror Expeditionary Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Korea Defense Service Medal, the NonCommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas
Service Ribbon, and the Army Parachutist Badge.

Around 10:40 p.m. on Wednesday, Hoke County Sheriff’s deputies responded to Hammock Lane for an unknown trouble. The location is about three miles east of Raeford off of Rockfish Road.

Upon arrival, they found a man lying on the ground unresponsive and began life-saving efforts, the sheriff’s office said. EMS arrived and continued efforts but were unsuccessful.

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During the course of the investigation by sheriff’s detectives, the victim’s next of kin was notified. Smith was later identified.

The sheriff’s office said there is a person of interest at this time.

The investigation is currently ongoing.

If you have any information, please contact Detective A. Spence at (910) 875-5111.