On Twitter, he described himself as "Libya's best friend." 33-year-old Ronnie Smith took a risk and moved there to teach chemistry at International School in Benghazi. He'd been in Libya for about a year and a half when he was gunned down during his morning jog Thursday in the same city where the U.S. Ambassador was killed last year.
No one has claimed responsibility but Islamic militants are suspected.
Smith worked at a church in Austin, Tex. before taking the job in Libya, but he grew up in metro Detroit. He's a graduate of Wayne State University and a 1997 graduate of Warren Woods Tower High School.
VIDEO: Click on the video player above to watch Fox 2's Robin Schwartz's report
The superintendent was not available to talk on camera but in a statement she said he was an outstanding student, athlete and a member of the National Honor Society. She went on to say we're deeply saddened over this loss.
A longtime friend tells the Associated Press Smith was very excited about the work he was doing. A church pastor who knew him adds Smith's greatest desire was for peace and prosperity in Libya. His wife, Anita, and young son were already back in the U.S., waiting for him to return for Christmas when he was shot and killed.
Messages of love and grief from around the world are on Twitter under the hashtag #mrsmithmemories.
One simply reads, He left a beautiful legacy.
WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc 5151 Wisconsin Ave. NW Washington, DC 20016 Main Number: (202) 244-5151 Newsroom: (202) 895-3000 email@example.com