RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A 15-year-old boy shot dead two people on the streets of a neighborhood in the North Carolina capital and then fled to a hiking trail, where he opened fire, killing three other people and injuring two others. The police announced on Friday.
Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson said the teenager was hospitalized in critical condition following the late Thursday afternoon shooting. Authorities had not determined a motive.
The victims were of different races and ranged in age from 16 to their late 50s, Patterson said during a news conference. Among the dead is off-duty Raleigh Police Officer Gabriel Torres, 29, who was on his way to work when the shooting began. Police identified the other victims as: Nicole Connors, 52; Mary Marshall, 34; Susan Karnatz, 49; and James Roger Thompson, 16.
Marcille Lynn Gardner, 59, was injured and remained in hospital in critical condition on Friday. A second police officer, Casey Joseph Clark, 33, was injured and discharged from hospital.
The teenager, who was not immediately identified by police, eluded officers for hours before being cornered at a home and arrested, police said. Officials have not said how he was injured.
The shootings sparked a massive police response and a manhunt that saw police search an area more than 2 miles to find and capture the teenager, Patterson said.
Government. Roy Cooper called the shooting an “exasperating and tragic act of gun violence.”
“Today we’re sad, we’re angry, and we want to know the answers to all the questions,” Cooper said. “I think we all know the core truth — no neighborhood, no parent, no child, no grandparent, no one should feel that fear in their communities — no one.”
The shooting erupted around 5 p.m. in a residential area northeast of downtown, Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin said. Officials from numerous law enforcement agencies swarmed through the area, closing roads and warning residents to stay indoors while they searched for the shooter.
The Neuse River Greenway runs just past the homes in the Hedingham neighborhood where the shooting began. The trail runs approximately 27 miles along the river and connects to the state’s hiker-popular Mountains-to-Sea Trail. The section behind the neighborhood is paved and is on a grassy slope away from the houses.
Karnatz’ husband, Tom Karnatz, said she is an avid runner who often runs on the greenway.
“She was a very loving wife and a great mother to our three sons,” he said through tears as he opened the door of the family home on Friday. “We are absolutely heartbroken and miss her dearly.”
In the driveway, a silver minivan and a Toyota Camry had matching 26.2 stickers – symbolizing the miles in a marathon. The minivan’s license plate read simply, “RUNNR.”
Woodrow Glass, a 74-year-old retiree, was a neighbor of Connors in the neighborhood where the shooting took place. He said the shooting highlighted the need for policies to keep guns out of the hands of youth. While the type of weapon used was not clear, Glass determined that the weapon had enough power to cause multiple deaths.
“Why would a kid have a gun like that? You know how he could cause so many deaths?” said Glas.
Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin said the shooting highlighted the need to end “the senseless gun violence that grips our country and now our city.”
“We have to do something,” she said.
Under North Carolina law, crimes committed by a 15-year-old are usually decided in juvenile court. However, if the 15-year-old is charged with first-degree murder and finds that there is a probable cause for the suspect to have committed the crime, a juvenile judge must refer the case to the Supreme Court so that the youth will be tried as an adult Has. Authorities have not commented on what charges the suspect could face.
The Raleigh shooting was the latest in a violent week across the country. Five people were killed in a shooting at a home in Inman, South Carolina on Sunday. Two police officers were fatally shot in Connecticut on Wednesday night after what appeared to be an ambush through an emergency call about possible domestic violence. Police officers were shot dead in Greenville, Mississippi this week; Decatur, Il.; PhiladelphiaLas 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 murder in 2022 in which victims were fatally shot, according to The Associated Press/USA TODAY/Northeastern University mass murder database. A mass murder occurs when four or more people are killed in addition to the perpetrator.
Brooke Medina, who lives in the Greenway neighborhood, was driving home around 5:15 p.m. Thursday when she saw about two dozen police cars, both marked and unmarked, speeding toward the residential area about 9 miles from Raleigh downtown.
She and her husband, who were working from home with their four children, began reaching out to neighbors and discovered there was a local protection order in place.
The family closed all the shutters, locked the doors and gathered in an upstairs hallway, said Medina, who works as a vice president of communications at a think tank. The family listened to the police scanner and checked local news before heading back downstairs when the danger appeared to have moved further from their home.
This story has been corrected to correct the spelling of Nicole Connors’ last name.
Associated Press writers Denise Lavoie in Richmond, Virginia; Stefanie Dazio in Los Angeles; Michael Kunzelman of Silver Spring, Maryland; and Allen G. Breed of Raleigh contributed to this report.
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