(CNN) — American teacher Ronnie Smith has been shot and killed in Benghazi, according to the Facebook page of the international school in Libya where he worked.
The U.S. State Department confirmed the killing and identified the educator as Ronald Thomas Smith II.
“The untimely death of Ronnie Smith has been felt by the whole school community,” the International School Benghazi posted on its Facebook page. “He was a much loved teacher who supported students in their learning and always had time to help when asked. Ronnie was a professional who gave his time freely and without question. We do not understand why this has happened and it is extremely difficult for his students and his colleagues to accept.”
The page was full of comments from Smith’s students and those who knew him, praising him as a dedicated educator.
“Mr. Smith was an exceptional teacher, my sons broke into tears,” Bint Altayar wrote. “They love him so much, they always mention his sense of humor and kindness. We are very sorry for his death. This is a tragedy, he and everyone in Libya (Libyan and non Libyan) don’t deserve this. I think every foreign teacher should leave until Libya is safe.”