Sean Smith, a foreign service information management officer, was among the four Americans murdered in an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, the State Department confirmed Wednesday.
Smith, a husband and father of two, was also a devoted participant in the gaming community EVE Online during his spare time. It was the gamers who first realized that Smith was among the fallen in the Tuesday attack, Talking Points Memo reports.
In an obituary for Smith and his online pseudonym “Vile Rat,” Alex Gianturco, or “The Mittani” on EVE, wrote about his six-year friendship with Smith both on and offline. Gianturco noted that he was a great diplomat in the game and highlighted a message Smith posted referencing the attack.
(12:54:09 PM) vile_rat: assuming we don’t die tonight. We saw one of our ‘police’ that guard the compound taking pictures
“I’m clearly in shock as I write this as everything is buzzing around my head funnily and I feel kind of dead inside,” continued Gianturco. “I’m not sure if this is how I’m supposed to react to my friend being killed by a mob in a post-revolutionary Libya, but it’s pretty awful and Sean was a great guy and he was a goddamned master at this game we all play, even though a lot of people may not realize how significant an influence he had. It seems kind of trivial to praise a husband, father, and overall badass for his skills in an internet spaceship game but that’s how most of us know him, so there you go.”
While the online gaming community mourned, so too did the State Department and rest of the nation.
“He was a husband to his wife Heather, with whom I spoke this morning. He was a father to two young children, Samantha and Nathan,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in prepared remarks. “They will grow up being proud of the service their father gave to our country, service that took him from Pretoria to Baghdad, and finally to Benghazi.”
President Barack Obama offered his comments on the murder Wednesday morning as well. (SEE ALSO: Who was Ambassador Chris Stevens?)
“Yesterday, four of these extraordinary Americans were killed in an attack on our diplomatic post in Benghazi. Among those killed was our Ambassador, Chris Stevens, as well as Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith,” added Obama shortly after Clinton. “We are still notifying the families of the others who were killed. And today, the American people stand united in holding the families of the four Americans in our thoughts and in our prayers.”