Pair of Shootings Rocks Special Forces Community at Fort Bragg

Sign for Fort Bragg, N.C.
This Jan. 4, 2020, photo shows a sign for Fort Bragg, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Seward, File)

An Army noncommissioned officer assigned to 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, was killed in a shooting this week, service officials announced Friday.

In what appeared to be an unrelated incident, another soldier serving in the Army's Special Operations Command, also at the same base, was arrested on attempted murder charges tied to the shooting of his fiancee.

The pair of shootings comes during a turbulent stretch for the Army, occurring days after more than a dozen soldiers serving in Fort Bragg Special Forces units became the subject of a probe into a potential drug trafficking ring.

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Staff Sgt. Jimmy Lee Smith III was pronounced dead at the scene Wednesday in Raeford, North Carolina. It is unclear what led to the shooting. A spokesperson with the Hoke County Sheriff's Office did not return a request for comment ahead of this story's publication.

"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 soldier who served with Smith, said in a statement. "It was truly an honor to be able to learn from him."

Smith, an Army cook, enlisted in 2016 and previously served in the 2nd Infantry Division and 82nd Airborne Division before being assigned to 3rd Special Forces Group's support battalion. He deployed to Jordan in 2020. His awards include the Army Commendation Medal with four oak leaf clusters and the Army Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster.

The same day that Smith was killed, Staff Sgt. Brandon Amos-Dixon allegedly shot his fiancee at a grocery store while she was in her car with her child in a parking lot in Spring Lake, North Carolina, just outside Fort Bragg. Chelsea Ling Chung was shot in the shoulder, and her child suffered minor injuries, according to reporting from WRAL.

Amos-Dixon was arrested in Bland County, Virginia, on Thursday, more than 200 miles from Fort Bragg. The arrest followed a five-hour search that included a high-speed chase that ended when Amos-Dixon slammed into a police car and proceeded to flee on foot, according to reporting from ABC 11. That chase prompted local schools to go into lockdown.

Amos-Dixon faces two counts of attempted murder, 10 counts of shooting into an occupied car, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, and charges related to eluding police and reckless driving.

-- Steve Beynon can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @StevenBeynon.

Related: More Than a Dozen Special Operations Soldiers at Center of Drug Trafficking Probe

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