A late-afternoon mass shooting in a Raleigh, North Carolina, neighborhood and then along a nearby nature trail left five dead and at least two injured Thursday. According to authorities, an off-duty police officer and a teenager are among those killed.
An unnamed teenage suspect is in custody with life-threatening injuries, though no details on how the 15-year-old white male was injured have been released, according to ABC News.
“Tonight, terror has reached our doorstep,” Gov. Roy Cooper said during a late-night news conference at Raleigh city hall. ”The nightmare of every community has come to Raleigh. This is a senseless, horrific and infuriating act of violence.”
According to The New York Times, “The shooting occurred in the Hedingham neighborhood in the northeast of Raleigh, where single-family homes and golf courses sit near the Neuse River Greenway, a bike and walking trail that winds through wetlands and pine groves. Residents said they heard police sirens about 4 p.m., about two hours before the police asked them to remain in their homes.”
Two people in a nearby neighborhood were shot first, before the suspect fled to the nature trail, where he killed three more people and shot two others, Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson said during a news conference.
Raleigh police on Friday morning identified those killed as:
- Raleigh police officer Gabriel Torres, 29. Patterson said he was heading to work when he was killed.
- Nicole Conners, 52.
- Susan Karnatz, 49.
- Mary Marshall, 35.
- James Roger Thompson, 16.
The injured were Raleigh K-9 police officer Casey Joseph Clark, 33, who was treated and released, and Marcielle Gardner, 59, who was still in critical condition Friday morning, local NBC affiliate WRAL reported.
Whether any of those who were shot had a relationship with the suspect is unknown. WRAL reported that the search for the suspect lasted for hours, with streets closed and traffic diverted. A local community center and an aquatic center were evacuated, and a local elementary school was in lockdown.
No details were provided about the weapon used or where the alleged gunman got it.
The deaths are the latest in a string of shootings. As The New York Times reported, “A day earlier, terror had struck six states away in Bristol, Conn., when two police officers were killed and a third was wounded in what the authorities described as an apparent ambush by a 35-year-old gunman who was killed at the scene.”
And per The Associated Press, “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 Las Vegas, were killed.”
According to the AP, the Raleigh mass shooting was the 25th mass shooting this year in the United States. It notes that “a mass killing is defined as when four or more people are killed, excluding the perpetrator.”