A 15-year-old suspect is in custody after five people were killed and at least two others injured in a mass shooting in Raleigh on Thursday that the North Carolina governor called an ‘indescribable moment of agony’ .
A handgun and a long gun were recovered after the shooting, in which the suspect was wearing camouflage and carrying a camouflage backpack, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation.
One of the victims killed was off-duty Raleigh police officer Gabriel Torres, 29, who was on his way to work, authorities said.
The mass shooting came a day after two police officers were killed and another seriously injured while responding to a domestic disturbance call in Bristol, Connecticut.
“Enough,” President Joe Biden said in a statement Friday. “We cried and prayed with too many families who had to bear the terrible burden of these mass shootings.”
The President added: “We need to pass a ban on assault weapons. The American people support this common sense action to remove the weapons of war from our streets. »
Officials provided few details about what happened in the quiet, middle-class neighborhood of Raleigh, but said the crime scene extended two miles down streets and a popular greenway. It ended after a long standoff during which the shooter was seriously injured.
The other deaths have been identified by police as Nicole Conners, 52; Sue Karnatz, 49; Marie Marshall, 35; and James Roger Thompson, 16.
A police officer who was injured has been released from a hospital and another victim, Marcille Lynn Gardner, 59, is in critical condition, according to Raleigh Police Chief Estella D. Patterson.
“My heart is heavy because we don’t have answers as to why this tragedy happened,” Patterson said.
Karnatz’s husband, Tom, called her a loving wife and mother of three sons – ages 10, 13 and 14.
“She will be greatly missed,” he said in a statement to CNN.
In a Facebook tribute, he wrote on Friday: “We had plans together to grow old. Always together. Now those plans are ruined.
Karnatz’s father, Dave Butler, described her as a soft-spoken, well-liked woman who ran marathons and home-schooled her three sons. A psychologist by training, Karnatz ran the Boston Marathon in 2013 and had finished the race at the time of the terrorist attack, according to Butler.
“She was a wonderful girl and a wonderful person and everyone loved her,” he said.
Marshall was walking her dog, Scruff, when she heard gunshots in the area, her sister, Meaghan McCrickard, told CNN.
Marshall called her fiancé, Rob Steele, to tell him about the shootings and told him she was going home, McCrickard said.
Steele and Marshall were to wed at the end of the month.
McCrickard told CNN that Marshall was thrilled to have all of her favorite people in one place — some from Japan, Texas and Florida.
“She was my hero despite being my younger sister,” McCrickard added. The sisters were three years apart.
“We want to take this unimaginable opportunity to beg our local, state and national leaders to finally step up and do something about gun control,” McCrickard said, “To be a leader is to lead and take action. decisions that benefit, support and keep our country safe. How many times do we have to hear our leaders say, “We’re sorry” and “Something needs to be done? We demand action.”
Christine Hines said she was having yard work done at her home on Thursday afternoon when the gunshots broke out. The sirens sounded. An officer yelled at her to come back into the house when she went to close the patio door, she said.
“I want to leave the area and then I have to consider that there really is no perfect place,” Hines said. “And it’s as close as I’ve seen, but I’m not sure I want to stay.”
Hines remembers seeing Sue Karnatz earlier on Thursday. They walk their dogs around the same time every day on opposite sides of the street because the animals don’t get along. Knowing that his neighbor is gone, Hines said, feels like his heart has been pierced.
Of the teenage suspect, Hines lamented, “Life hasn’t even begun for him.”
Another resident, who was standing with her 15-year-old daughter and asked not to be identified, said police cars, ambulances and fire trucks were coming down when a neighbor approached.
“She had seen a ghost,” the resident said. “She comes up to us, and I’m, like, what happened, and she goes, ‘I just witnessed my neighbor being shot in the driveway. She was completely in shock.
An officer in an unmarked car told them there was an active shooter. They locked themselves in a room, the resident said.
“I started to cry,” recalls her daughter.
On Friday morning, the teenager was crying again.
“Imagining what people are going through,” she said. “And the fact that he was so close to us. It could have been us.
Knightdale High School principal Keith Richardson said in a statement that Thompson was a junior at the school. “This is an unexpected loss and we are saddened by it,” Richardson said, adding that counseling and crisis services were available for students and staff.
Wake Technical Community College said Marshall was a student there.
“The tragedy strikes especially close to home here at Wake Tech, as one of the victims was a graduate of the college’s cooking, baking, and hospitality programs,” the statement said.
“Mary Marshall was one of six students selected to study abroad in France with the culinary arts program before graduating in 2014. Teachers and classmates describe her as a hard worker with a good attitude and a determination to succeed. Wake Tech remembers Mary today and sends prayers for all victims and their families.
Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, who joined police and city officials at a press conference on Friday, called the rampage a “maddening and tragic act of gun violence.”
“It was a complex mission, in a short time, to arrest the shooter,” Cooper said, praising the police response.
“Were sad. We are angry and want to know the answers to all the questions,” Cooper added. “These questions will be answered. Some today and more over time. But I think we all know the fundamental truth: no neighborhood, no parent, no child, no grandparent, no one should feel this fear in their community.”
Raleigh police spokesman Lt. Jason Borneo identified the suspected shooter as a young white male, and police did not release any further details about him.
The suspect was transferred to a hospital after being taken into custody, CNN affiliate WRAL-TV reported. Authorities did not specify the extent of the suspect’s injuries. CNN has contacted the hospital for more information.
The shooting began shortly after 5 p.m. in the Hedingham area near the Neuse River Greenway, officials said. A manhunt ensued as authorities worked to apprehend the suspect.
In one of four 911 calls obtained by CNN, a caller told a dispatcher that the shooter was wearing camouflage and looked 16 years old. The caller said the shooter “walked by and shot” a police officer “for no reason.” Another caller reported that two neighbors had been shot. A third caller reported that a “kid running here with a shotgun” shot a person and “ran back into the woods.”
Police “contained” the suspect around 8 p.m. inside an area residence, Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin told reporters Thursday.
Helicopter footage from WRAL showed more than a dozen emergency vehicles lined up on a road through a wooded area.
A woman who was at the Hedingham Golf Club driving range said a ‘relentless stream of police’ was passing through the area.
“A golf professional came to tell us to shelter inside or leave as soon as possible,” she told CNN. “They were very calm, but I could tell something was wrong, so we left straight away.”
The suspect was taken into custody before 9:40 p.m. Thursday, police said.
Baldwin, joined at the press conference Thursday by other officials including Cooper, expressed frustration at the heartbreaking gun violence that has seeped into her city.
“Today was a very difficult day in our city. We pray that something like this never happens here. It did,” Baldwin said.
The mayor stressed that the spread of armed violence must be stopped. “We have work to do, but there are too many casualties,” she said.
“We need to wake up. I don’t want more mayors standing here on the podium heartbroken because members of their community died today, needlessly and tragically.
There have been at least 531 mass shootings – including Thursday’s in Raleigh – in the United States so far this year, according to Gun Violence Archive. The organization, like CNN, defines a mass shooting as one in which at least four people are shot, excluding the shooter.
Cooper echoed the mayor’s sentiments and called for prayers for the victims and the community.
“Tonight, terror has reached our doorstep. Every community’s nightmare has come to Raleigh,” Cooper said. “It was a senseless, horrific and maddening act of violence that was committed.”
Both Cooper and Baldwin praised the multi-agency response to the shooting, with Cooper saying law enforcement officers rushed to “an active shooter who was out to kill people.”
Law enforcement is in anguish over the killings, including that of a fellow officer, Borneo said.
“To the Raleigh Police Department, every officer is a brother or sister, so when we lose one of our own, it’s a tragic and heartbreaking day for all of us,” Borneo said.