Reward offered to help solve murder of 19-year-old UC Berkeley student

Bay Area

BERKELEY, Calif. (KRON) — Police say they are offering $50,000 for information about the death of Seth Smith. The college student was entering his third year at Cal and his high school theatre teacher remembers him as a kind and caring person.

A 19-year-old college student found shot to death in Berkeley is being remembered by friends and family. 

Police say Seth Smith was walking near his home along Dwight Way and Valley Street late Monday night when an unknown person shot him in the head at close range.

“He was just a beautiful soul, he was everybody’s friend,” Christina Chun-Moslen said. “He was somebody that everybody got along with. Nobody had any drama with him.”

Chun-Moslen was Seth’s theatre teacher at Cosumnes Oaks High School in Elk Grove.

She remembers him as talented actor with a sharp mind and kind heart — someone who was always willing to help others.

“In theatre, we’re a family and it was like we lost a sibling,” she said.

Seth’s death is Berkeley’s third homicide this year.

Flowers lay where a passer-by found him bleeding from his wound.

Berkeley police are offering $50,000 to find out who did this.

“We’re hopeful that with this reward that people will come forward,” a Berkeley official said. “Even without the reward we would like people to come forward with any information they may have.”

Investigators say where Seth was killed is a well-used thoroughfare.

They’re hoping someone may have seen something or has surveillance video of what happened.

“Car dash cam you know definitely go ahead and check that any little detail could help you never know.”

As for those who knew Seth, their minds are focused on mourning and coming to grips with a blossoming life cut short.

“It’s just hard to think that you know we are constantly saying goodbye to our students,” Chun-Moslen said. “It’s hard to believe that, that was the final goodbye.”

Police are still in the early stages of this investigation. 

An online page has been set up for Seth’s family where people are welcomed to share tributes and pictures.

Seth would’ve turned 20 on July 4.

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