BERKELEY, Calif. - The family of a Cal student is searching for answers after learning he had been shot and killed. 19-year-old Seth Smith was set to graduate from U.C. Berkeley next year. He was found lying on the ground not from his apartment with a gunshot wound after going for a walk last Monday.
Loved ones of Smith describe the Sacramento-area native as brilliant and smart. He started Berkeley as a sophomore double majoring in history and economics. He had dreams to further his studies at London School of Economics.
The last time his mother, Michelle Smith, saw her son was two weeks ago when she helped him move into a new apartment on Dwight Way. According to his roommates, he had left for a walk around 10 p.m. to clear his head as he often did.
“Somebody literally walked up to him and put a gun to the back of his head and shot him and we don’t know why,” said Smith.
Someone walking their dog found him bleeding around 11:15 p.m. He had been shot once. Neighbors said the shooting happened in front of a bus stop.
“My gut says that it was maybe someone with a mental issue or it was robbery gone wrong,” said Smith.
With no witnesses, police are relying on surveillance video from the area and according to the Seth’s mother, police recovered a bullet and casing.
In high school, Smith was known as an amazing performer.
“He would have large roles and he would have small roles,” said Christina Chun-Moslen, Seth’s high school theater teacher. “It didn't matter. He took the time to take care of everyone else.”
Chun-Moslen remembered him as a bright star with a bright future.
“Seth was amazing person,” said Chun-Moslen. “He was very kind and sweet and he did not deserve to have his life cut short.”
Police have said much about what happened or why. So far, there is no suspect information. Smith’s death is Berkeley’s third homicide this year.