RALEIGH, N.C. — The teenager accused of killing five and injuring two in a mass shooting in Raleigh Thursday evening is in critical condition, police said.
The dead include a Raleigh police officer, Gabriel Torres, 29, who was on his way to work. Senior Officer Casey Joseph Clark was injured Thursday but was released from the hospital that night.
What You Need To Know
- A 15-year-old, who has not been publicly identified by name, is accused of killing five people and injuring two others in a mass shooting in Raleigh Thursday evening
- The shooting began in the suburban Hedingham neighborhood and then moved to a nearby greenway
- Those killed were identified by authorities as 16-year-old James Thompson, 29-year-old Officer Gabriel Torres, 35-year-old Mary Marshall, 49-year-old Susan Karnatz and 52-year-old Nicole Connors
- Marcille Gardner, 59, is in critical condition. Officer Casey Joseph Clark was injured but released from the hospital Thursday night
- The suspect is in custody and is in critical condition, according to police
"There are some in our community waking up without their loved ones," Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin said Friday morning. "No one can imagine what they are all going through."
Related: Police identify victims in Raleigh greenway mass shooting
A 16-year-old, James Thompson, was one of those killed in the sprawling 2-mile crime scene in east Raleigh, said Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson. The other victims are Nicole Connors, 52; Mary Marshall, 35; and Susan Karnatz, 49.
"We don't have an answer as to why," the police chief said.
The 15-year-old suspect, identified as a white male, is in critical condition, Patterson said.
Division of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Deputy Secretary William Lassiter issued a statement Friday afternoon saying a secure custody order has been issued for the juvenile suspect.
"Under North Carolina state law, once a court determines probable cause exists, a juvenile who is 13 years of age or older who is charged with first degree murder will automatically be transferred to adult superior court," the statement read.
Patterson said the shooting spree began in the suburban Hedingham neighborhood in east Raleigh, which backs up to the Neuse River. The violence began in a street in the neighborhood, where police say the teenager fatally shot two people before moving to the greenway, where he killed three others and wounded two more.
Patterson said officers "immediately went into action" when they got the first 911 call. That first call came in at about 5 p.m. Thursday, according to the city. The shooting drew a massive police response, with sheriff's deputies, state troopers, the FBI and others pouring into the neighborhood off New Bern Road.
Police blocked off the area and warned neighbors to stay inside their homes. Areas of the greenway remain closed.
Ineractive map: Neuse River Greenway closures
By 8 p.m. Thursday, police had the suspect cornered in a house, the mayor said. Police said they arrested the teen at about 9:37 p.m.
One person, 59-year-old Marcille Gardner, is still in critical condition, Patterson said. Garnder's 60th birthday is Saturday, according to records released by the city.
Raleigh is the latest in a string of mass shootings around the country.
"We have to double our efforts to end gun violence that has its grips on our country and now our city," the Raleigh mayor said Friday morning.
"Today we're sad, we're angry and we want to know answers," said North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, who joined city officials Friday morning. "No one should feel this fear," he said. "As policy makers we will not turn away."
The shooting in Raleigh Thursday evening was the 25th mass killing in the United States this year, according to The Associated Press. The news organization defines mass killings as when four or more people die, not including the perpetrator.
The worst mass shooting this year so far was at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, where a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers on May 24. The most recent happened Sunday, when five people were killed in a shooting at a home in Inman, South Carolina.
"We have to make sense of this infuriating act of gun violence," the governor said Friday morning. "I think we all know the core truth: no neighborhood, no parent, no child, no grandparent, no one should feel this fear in their communities.”
President Joe Biden issued a statement Friday afternoon saying he and the first lady "are grieving with the families in Raleigh, North Carolina, whose loved ones were killed and wounded" and "are grateful for the law enforcement and other first responders, including federal law enforcement who were on the scene last night and into this morning."
The president said his administration is also working with Cooper to assist local authorities in the investigation "to the fullest extent needed."
This article has been updated to correct the spelling of Nicole Connors' name.