The 15-year-old gunman accused of killing five people and injuring two others in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Thursday (Oct. 13) will be tried as an adult.
via: The Guardian
Authorities did not immediately comment on what charges the teen could face. But the Wake county district attorney, Lorrin Freeman, said adult charges would be brought.
“In this situation, there’s no question the mass loss of life, in my opinion, this case be transferred and tried in superior court,” Freeman said at a press conference on Friday. “We are prepared for justice to be sought for these families.”
The Raleigh police chief, Estella Patterson, said the teen was captured hours after the victims were shot on Thursday evening. The suspect was hospitalized in critical condition. Authorities did not immediately say how he was injured. Patterson said police had not determined a motive.
The victims were of different races and aged from 16 to their late 50s, Patterson said. Family members and friends said some were shot while doing everyday activities – an off-duty police officer was killed on his way to work, one women who died was on her porch talking to a neighbor, another woman who died was out walking her dog, another was out exercising.
One of those killed, James Thompson, 16, was identified by the Raleigh News & Observer as the shooting suspect’s older brother.
The governor of North Carolina, Roy Cooper, called the shooting an “infuriating and tragic act of gun violence”.
He added: “No neighborhood, no parent, no child, no grandparent, no one should feel this fear in their communities – no one.”
Gunfire broke out around 5pm in a residential area north-east of downtown Raleigh, said the mayor, Mary-Ann Baldwin. Police said the teenager fled to a walking trail and continued shooting.
An officer, Gabriel Torres, 29, was among those killed. The other victims were Nicole Connors, 52; Mary Marshall, 34; Susan Karnatz, 49; and Thompson.
The suspect eluded officers for hours, across a crime scene that stretched for two miles, before he was cornered in a home and arrested, Patterson said.
Multiple 911 calls were made as the shooting took place, records of which were released by Raleigh police. People told emergency dispatchers they encountered bodies on the street, on front lawns, and along the trail, which is popular with runners and bikers.
Callers said the shooter was wearing camouflage and carrying a shotgun. One of the first calls came in around 5.12pm, a caller reporting that he saw Torres shot.
“He just walked right through and shot him. He walked by and shot him for no reason,” the caller said.
Another caller reported hearing gunshots and screams and seeing bodies.
“There’s somebody that’s laying by the bush and somebody that’s laying on the porch,” the caller said.
The sister of Mary Marshall told NBC News Marshall was walking her dog, Scruff, when she was killed. Connors’ husband said she was on the porch talking to a neighbor. Marcille Lynn Gardner, 59, was talking to Connors when she was shot. Gardner was hospitalized in critical condition. A second police officer, Casey Joseph Clark, 33, was wounded and released from hospital.
Tom Karnatz said his wife was an avid runner.
“She was a very loving wife and amazing mother to our three sons,” he said, through tears. “We’re absolutely heartbroken and miss her dearly.”
Woodrow Glass, a 74-year-old retiree and neighbor of Connors, said he talked to her nearly every day as she walked her dog.
“She was friendly with everybody in the neighborhood, spoke with everybody … and was really respected here. And we’re going to miss her,” he said.
In a statement, Joe Biden said he and Jill Biden were grieving and his administration was working with Cooper to help local authorities.
“Enough. We’ve grieved and prayed with too many families who have had to bear the terrible burden of these mass shootings,” the president said.
Omer Rosas, a sophomore at Knightdale high school, said he was shocked to learn his classmate was arrested.
“I did not expect it to be him,” Rosas said. “He was very calm. He wasn’t like a mean person. He was open to be nice to everyone.”
Rosas said the teen was personable and athletic, a smaller guy who enjoys running and was considering joining the school’s track team. Thompson, the 16-year-old victim revealed to be the suspect’s brother, was a junior at the school.
The shooting was the latest in a violent week across the US. Five people were killed last Sunday at a home in Inman, South Carolina. On Wednesday, two police officers were killed in Connecticut after apparently being drawn into an ambush. Officers were also shot in Greenville, Mississippi; Decatur, Illinois; Philadelphia, Las Vegas and central Florida. Two officers, one in Greenville and one Las Vegas, were killed.
Thursday’s violence was the 25th mass killing in 2022 in which victims were killed, according to the Associated Press/USA Today/Northeastern University Mass Killings database. A mass killing is defined as when four or more people are killed, excluding the perpetrator.