RALEIGH, NC — Five people were killed, including an off-duty officer, in a mass shooting in an east Raleigh neighborhood Thursday night, authorities confirmed. Two others were injured, they said.
At a press conference Friday morning, authorities identified the five victims. The suspected shooter, 15, was taken into custody just after 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Raleigh police says WTVD.
One of the injured was a K-9 officer who was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin said. The other was a 59-year-old woman. The officer was later released.
“This is a sad and tragic day for the city of Raleigh,” the mayor said at one of two news conferences the city held Thursday night.
Officers were first called to the gun call around 5 p.m. Thursday near the River Neuse greenway in the Hedingham neighborhood near Osprey Cove Drive and Bay Harbor Drive.
Baldwin said the police department told him around 8 p.m. that the suspect had been “confined” to an area residence. Raleigh police tweeted around 9:40 p.m. that the suspect was in custody.
“We need to do more. We must stop this indiscriminate violence in America. We must fight gun violence,” Baldwin said. “We have a lot to do and tonight we have a lot to cry.”
Several law enforcement agencies and first responders were still at the scene late into the night.
The Wake County prosecutor said she will seek to try the 15-year-old mass shooting suspect as an adult, WTVD reported.
“Based on the mass deaths and violence here, we intend to press charges against him as an adult and to go to Superior Court in this case,” District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said. WTVD.
The maximum sentence would be life without parole if the teenager is tried as an adult, according to Freeman.
“This is the first time we’ve had this kind of mass shooting in the 25 years that I’ve worked in the criminal justice system, so it’s out of the question for us and the community to know that today’ today, as many people have woken up simultaneously unloved those because of senseless violence,” she said. “This is a different case, there’s no doubt about it.”
Freeman said that since the suspect is hospitalized, he has not been served.
Channel 9’s Dave Faherty visited the suspect’s home as police searched him on Friday night. Investigators told ABC News they find no clues online of the suspect, saying he had no social media footprints.
In calls to 911, you can hear the chaos and terror experienced by families during the rampage.
Breaking Raleigh- Police are at the home of the teenager accused of shooting and killing five people including a Raleigh police officer. I will be live from the scene with the latest news from the police investigation tonight on channel 9. pic.twitter.com/fGbF068don
—Dave Faherty (@FahertyWSOC9) October 14, 2022
“We heard the shots and we heard them screaming, so we went downstairs, because we heard it was a gun,” a caller told a dispatcher.
Countless families were forced to close their doors as the shooting unfolded.
Sources said WRAL News that the suspected shooter is 15-year-old Austin Thompson.
WRAL also reports that one of the victims was James Roger Thompson, his 16-year-old brother. Knightdale High School confirmed James Thompson was a junior.
“This is an incredibly difficult time for our school community as well as the wider Raleigh community,” the school statement read. “We have learned that junior James Thompson was killed in yesterday’s tragic shooting on the Neuse River Greenway. It is an unexpected loss and we are saddened. Our condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to James’ family, the other victims, their families and everyone affected by yesterday’s events.
The school said it will offer on-site counseling on campus Friday and next week.
“These are difficult times that we will go through together as a school family,” the school said.
President Joe Biden shared a statement on the shooting, thanking law enforcement for their response and saying the families of the victims are in his thoughts.
“Jill and I mourn with the families of Raleigh, North Carolina, whose loved ones were killed and injured in another mass shooting in America,” the statement read. “We think of another shaken and broken community as it mourns the loss of friends and neighbors, including an off-duty police officer.”
Read Biden’s full statement here.
In east Raleigh, Channel 9’s Dave Faherty spoke to neighbors who said they hid inside when they heard gunshots.
“At that point, I just took my grandson and we walked in, closed the house and kind of went to the center of the house,” Shelly Birdsell said.
Some held back tears as they described the moments following the shooting. Neighbor Saunya Jones described the moment she learned what had happened.
“The guy that lives there, he was standing in the middle of the yard, saying there was a shooter,” Jones said. “And then someone was on the ground, there was a body on the ground, and they were like, doing CPR. And there was a lady run over there.
At a press conference Friday morning, authorities identified the five victims as:
- Nicole Connors, 52
- Susan Karnatz, 49
- Mary Marshall, 35 years old
- A 16-year-old whose name has not been released
- Raleigh police officer on leave Gabriel Torres, 29
“There are several families in our community who wake up this morning without their loved ones. We mourn for them,” Baldwin said at the start of the press conference. “Our prayers are also with those who are injured. No one can imagine what they are all going through, but please know that we, as a community, stand with you today.
“We are also grateful to the dedicated public safety and law enforcement officers who acted with such bravery. But we have redoubled our resolve now to end the senseless gun violence that has gripped our country, and now our city.
“I know it brings us sadness and anger. We have to do something.”
Officials said two community centers were evacuated and a school was closed during the shooting. The crime scene extended over two kilometres.
“No neighborhood, no parent, no child, no grandparent – no one should feel that fear in their community,” Cooper added.
Officers said the suspected shooter was 15 years old. He had life-threatening injuries when he was taken into custody Thursday, according to a memo from the Department of Homeland Security. It is not known if these injuries were self-inflicted.
On Friday morning, officers were seen searching a house near the scene of the shooting, according to ABC11.
Governor Roy Cooper made his way to the media preparation area and addressed the public at a late evening press conference.
“Terror has reached our doorstep,” Cooper said. “Every community’s nightmare has come to Raleigh.”
Chef Stella Patterson was away at a professional conference and was on her way back to Raleigh, Baldwin said.
Neighbors said the shooter was young, dressed in camouflage and had a long gun. Authorities said he opened fire along a footpath.
The quick and coordinated efforts of local and state law enforcement brought the suspect into custody and we are grateful for their efforts. We mourn the victims of this horrific and maddening act of violence. -RC
— Governor Roy Cooper (@NC_Governor) October 14, 2022
Five people, including a police officer, were killed in a shooting in a residential area, and several people were shot, Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin said at a news conference.
This remains an active investigation. No suspect is in custody at this time. Residents of the affected area are asked to stay home until further notice.
— Raleigh Police (@raleighpolice) October 14, 2022
SPR: It’s still an active investigation. Sections of the Hedingham neighborhood remain closed. Residents should follow the instructions of law enforcement at the scene.
The North Carolina Department of Public Safety made extensive state resources available in response to the active fire incident in Raleigh this afternoon. State Highway Patrol Air Force and Local Patrol members, State Capitol Police officers and Alcohol Law Enforcement Special Agents have all responded and are currently assisting the Department of Raleigh Police.
“DPS is providing all necessary resources as requested by this investigation and is working with local law enforcement to apprehend this shooter,” said NCDPS Secretary Eddie M. Buffaloe, Jr.
I spoke with Mayor Baldwin and asked state law enforcement to provide assistance in responding to the active shooter in East Raleigh. State and local officers are on the scene working to arrest the shooter and keep people safe. -RC
— Governor Roy Cooper (@NC_Governor) October 13, 2022
Raleigh Police: Residents around McConnell Oliver Drive, Tarheel Club Drive and Old Milburnie Road are advised to stay indoors. Drivers are urged to avoid the area and seek alternate routes.
Residents of the Hedingham neighborhood are asked to stay home and call 911 if they see anything suspicious.
The Raleigh Police Department is currently at the scene of an active shooting in the Neuse River Greenway area near Osprey Cove Drive and Bay Harbor Drive. Residents of this area are advised to stay at home.
No further information has been released.
The Raleigh Police Department is currently at the scene of an active shooting in the Neuse River Greenway area near Osprey Cove Drive and Bay Harbor Drive.
Residents of this area are advised to stay at home.
— Raleigh Police (@raleighpolice) October 13, 2022
ABC 11 contributed to this report.
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