Authorities in Raleigh, North Carolina on Friday released the names of five people who were killed in a mass shooting there Thursday evening.
The victims included Raleigh Police Officer Gabriel Torres, 29, who was off duty when he was killed, according to Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson. A 15-year-old suspect, a boy identified by Patterson as white, is said to have suffered “severe injuries” and is in police custody. Due to his age, additional details about him were not released, but WRAL reported that the suspect is Austin Thompson and his brother is one of the victims.
The Wake County DA reportedly said the state would charge the suspected gunman as an adult if he survives.
Chief Patterson said that Officer Torres was not in uniform or in a patrol car but was “on his way to work” when he was shot.
Torres had been on the force for 18 months and leaves behind a wife and a child, local authorities said.
Prayers for the Torres’s. This is Gabriel Torres, 29, he is the Raleigh officer who was shot and killed during a spree killing in east Raleigh. He is among five dead. He was a husband and father of a two-year-old daughter. #wral pic.twitter.com/8uNUzcn7tN
— WRAL Keely Arthur (@keelyarthur50YS) October 14, 2022
The remaining victims were Nicole Conners, 52; Susan Karnatz, 49; Mary Marshall, 35; and a 16-year-old white male, according to Patterson and a police department press release.
James Thompson and three other adults, identified as Nicole Conners, 52, Mary Marshall, 34, and Susan Karnatz, 49, passed away as a result of the incident.
Marcielle Gardner, 59, remained at WakeMed Hospital where she was listed in critical condition.https://t.co/MU7w6gLjjV pic.twitter.com/jgNhgs2mlT
— Fox3 Now (@fox3news) October 14, 2022
The teen victim was identified by the Raleigh News & Observer as James Thompson. The newspaper also gave slightly different ages for two of the victims than those provided by Patterson: Conners was 53 and Marshall was 34, according to the News & Observer.
Two others were injured. One, Marcielle Gardner, 59, was “still in critical condition,” Patterson said. Another, Senior Raleigh Police Officer Casey Joseph Clark, 33, a K-9 handler, was treated and released with non-life-threatening injuries, the newspaper reported.
In a vignette about the victims, Raleigh ABC affiliate WTVD said Marshall was engaged and was walking her dog when she was killed. Connors left a job in human resources to care for her mother before she was gunned down. Karnatz, described as an “avid runner,” was married and had three sons. Thompson, according to a school principal, was a junior at Knightdale High School.
Susan Karnatz was one of 5 people killed in the #Raleigh mass shooting. Her husband tells @ChelseaDReports she was a loving mother to their 3 sons— 10, 13 and 14 years old. A friend describes Susan as an avid runner & one of the kindest people she’s ever known @WRAL pic.twitter.com/B6i2Cqu08b
— Renee Chou (@chouchoutv) October 14, 2022
The shooting spree reportedly began in Raleigh’s Hedingham neighborhood near Osprey Cove Drive around 5 p.m. on Thursday. Patterson said shootings happened “in the streets” there.
The suspect then fled to the Neuse River Greenway Trail and unleashed more violence there, the police chief said.
Published photos showed law enforcement officers collecting evidence near a golf course.
At 5:30 p.m., residents in the area west of the Neuse River were reportedly told to shelter in place and to call the police if they saw anything suspicious, the News & Observer said in an earlier report. A 5:55 p.m. tweet from the police department revealed similarly:
The Raleigh Police Department is currently on the scene of an active shooting in the area of the Neuse River Greenway near Osprey Cove Drive and Bay Harbor Drive.
Residents in that area are advised to remain in their homes.
— Raleigh Police (@raleighpolice) October 13, 2022
By 6:49 p.m., police issued a similar edict for people who lived on the east side of the river.
Residents in the area of McConnell Oliver Drive, Tarheel Club Drive, and Old Milburnie Road are being advised to remain indoors. Drivers are advised to avoid the area and seek alternate routes.
— Raleigh Police (@raleighpolice) October 13, 2022
Two community centers were evacuated and a school in the area was locked down, Patterson said.
Patterson said the crimes spanned a two-mile area, according to a press conference carried by WTVD.
“It was a long standoff,” the chief said, “but the resolution of it has been successful, and I’m very thankful for that.”
The police chief characterized the incident as a “senseless gun crime.”
The local constabulary did not vouchsafe whether there was a connection between the teen suspect and any of the victims.
Patterson said she flew immediately to Raleigh to handle the situation while she was attending a police conference in Dallas. One of the topics there was gun violence.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) was among those who thanked law enforcement officers who “ran to the crisis when they knew that there was an active shooter who was ready to kill people.”
“Tonight, terror has reached our doorstep,” Cooper said, according to the newspaper. “The nightmare of every community has come to Raleigh. This is a senseless, horrific and infuriating act of violence that has been committed.”
Patterson praised the joint law enforcement effort that led to the capture of the suspect and said her officers were well trained to handle the incident.
“While we are grieving, Raleigh remains a resilient community,” Patterson said. “And we will get through this together.”
The investigation remains ongoing, and Patterson said an incident report would reveal more in five days.
President Joe Biden offered prayers for the families affected by “yet another mass shooting in America.”
“We are thinking of yet another community shaken and shattered as they mourn the loss of friends and neighbors, including an off-duty police officer,” Biden said in a statement.
“Enough,” the president continued. “We’ve grieved and prayed with too many families who have had to bear the terrible burden of these mass shootings. Too many families have had spouses, parents, and children taken from them forever. This year, and even in just the five months since Buffalo and Uvalde, there are too many mass shootings across America, including ones that don’t even make the national news.”
Biden then said the Senate should “pass an assault weapons ban” already approved by the House of Representatives in an attempt to curb the violence.
“Send it to my desk and I’ll sign it,” Biden said.
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