The News & Observer reports on the five victims of yesterday’s shooting:
Raleigh Police Officer Gabriel Jesús Torres, 29. He was off-duty at the time of the shooting, but was on his way to work, Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson said. He was not in uniform or in his patrol car when he was shot, she said.
Patterson said Torres had been with the department for 18 months. Before that, Torres served as a Marine at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville. Torres leaves behind his wife and one child, Patterson said.
▪ Nicole Connors, 53, who lived in the neighborhood.
▪ Susan Karnatz, 49, who lived in Hedingham with her husband, Tom. He grieved his wife in a Facebook post after the shooting, saying the couple had big plans for their lives with their three sons and as empty nesters when the boys are grown.
▪ Mary Beth Marshall, 34, who lived in Hedingham. Her step-grandmother, Donna Marshall, said Mary had served in the Navy, attended culinary school, was very family oriented and moved back to the Raleigh area three years ago after spending the prior two years with her in Orlando.
“She loved to go to the beach, and she was an absolute fanatic about Disney World,” Donna Marshall said.
▪ James Thompson, 16, who was a junior at Knightdale High School. It’s homecoming weekend at the school, with a tailgating event planned before the Friday night football game against Rolesville High School. On the school’s Facebook page, someone posted a note offering prayers “for the Knightdale High family, the student’s family and friends of the teen victim of the Neuse River Greenway shooting yesterday.”
The name of the shooter who killed five people yesterday is Austin Thompson. He is 15. One of the victims, James Roger Thompson, 16, was the shooter’s brother and a student in Wake County Public Schools.
WRAL reports that Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman will pursue adult charges against the shooter. Court proceedings are on hold as he shooter is hospitalized.
It was only a matter of time.
Yesterday evening, around 5:30, reports of a teenager clad in camouflage and shooting people with a long gun in northeast Raleigh’s Hedingham neighborhood, close to the Neuse River greenway, started trickling out.
Network reporting and accounts on social media painted a chaotic, confusing scene; an off-duty police officer was killed, another officer was shot. The suspect, a boy, white, between the ages of 13 and 15, was described as the shooter. He was still at large. It took hours, and the intervention of multiple law enforcement agencies, before it was relayed that the suspect was “contained” in a barn.
Meanwhile, the sound of police and ambulance sirens reverberated along I-540 and New Bern Avenue carrying wounded people to Wake Med.
Around 9 p.m., Raleigh mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin, visibly shaken, gave a briefing outside of City Hall and confirmed that five people, including an off-duty RPD officer, had been killed. Another K-9 officer was hospitalized and receiving treatment.
“This is a sad and tragic day for the city of Raleigh,” Baldwin said. “We must stop this mindless violence in America. We must address gun violence.”
At around 9:40, following multiple conflicting reports on social media, Raleigh police confirmed the suspect was in the custody of law enforcement.
At about ten minutes to 11, preceded by an hour or so by the booming of fireworks closing out the first day of the state fair, Baldwin, Gov. Roy Cooper, and state and Raleigh law enforcement officials held another briefing.
“A horrific and infuriating act of violence,” Cooper called the shooting.
Raleigh police spokesman Lt. Jason Borneo confirmed that the suspect was in custody and receiving medical treatment. The K-9 officer who was shot was treated and released.
Borneo choked back tears following a reporter’s question about the death of the RPD officer.
Borneo said he couldn’t say any more as an investigation is still underway.
A self-inflicted gunshot wound is rumored to be the cause of the suspect’s injury.
Witnesses interviewed on WRAL described him as “baby-faced,” “a child.”
More information is expected to come Friday morning.
This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.
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