“There are several families in our community waking up this morning without their loved ones,” said Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin on Friday morning. “We grieve with them today.”
According to police, a 15-year-old boy fatally shot two people in the streets of a neighborhood in North Carolina’s capital city, then fled toward a walking trail where he opened fire, killing three more people and wounding two others.
The shooting occurred around 5 p.m. in a neighborhood near the Neuse River Greenway, a 27-mile paved trail that runs through portions of the city.
Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson identified the victims as:
- 29-year-old Gabriel Torres, an off-duty police officer
- 52-year-old Nicole Connors
- 49-year-old Susan Karnatz
- 35-year-old Mary Marshall
- a 16-year-old unidentified male
“This is an extremely, extremely painful event. For our officers, for me, for this entire community,” Patterson said.
Knightdale High School principal Keith Richardson released a statement, identifying one of the victims as a student at the school.
“We have learned that junior James Thompson was killed in yesterday’s tragic shooting on the Neuse River Greenway,” the statement read. “It is an unexpected loss and we are saddened by it. Our condolences, thoughts, and prayers go out to James’ family, the other victims, their families and all who have been impacted by yesterday’s events.”
Four and a half hours after the initial shooting, police say they cornered the suspect and he was taken into custody. Patterson said the suspect was hospitalized in critical condition following the shootings.
‘It was a complex mission in a short amount of time to stop the shooter and they succeeded,” North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said at a press conference on Friday.
Authorities have not commented on what charges the teen could face, but according to local media reports, District Attorney Lorrin Freeman has indicated her office plans to pursue adult charges against the suspect.
Authorities have yet to determine a motive.
“My heart is heavy because we don’t have answers as to why this tragedy occurred,” Patterson said.
One of the two people injured in the shooting is in critical condition and has been identified as 59-year-old Marcille Gardner. The other has been identified as an off-duty officer, 33-year-old Casey Joseph Clark, who has been treated and released from the hospital, according to ABC 11.
The Raleigh mayor said she wants action taken so other mayors would not have to endure mass shooting situations in their communities.
“We have to end this mindless gun violence that is happening in our country,” Baldwin said. “All of us in Raleigh right now need to come together.”
Adding to Baldwin’s sentiments, Cooper called the shooting a “senseless, horrific and infuriating act of violence.”
“Tonight, terror has reached our doorstep,” Cooper said. “The nightmare of every community has come to Raleigh.”
Neighbors say they’re now on edge.
“I walk all the time in this neighborhood by myself and I’ve never been scared before but now I just feel like I need to be much more aware,” Raleigh resident Sam Litt said on NewsNation’s “Rush Hour” on Friday.
The Raleigh shooting was the latest in a violent week across the country. Five people were killed Sunday in a shooting at a home in Inman, South Carolina. On Wednesday night, two police officers were fatally shot in Connecticut after apparently being drawn into an ambush by an emergency call about possible domestic violence.
Police officers have been shot this week in Greenville, Mississippi; Decatur, Illinois; Philadelphia, Las Vegas and Central Florida. Two of those officers, one in Greenville and one in Las Vegas, were killed.
Thursday’s violence was the 25th mass killing in 2022 in which victims were fatally shot, according to The Associated Press/USA TODAY/Northeastern University Mass Killings database.
A mass killing is defined as when four or more people are killed, excluding the perpetrator.