A 15-year-old suspect was detained after a “prolonged confrontation” with police after a shooting in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Thursday night killed five people and injured two others, officials said.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper called the shooting a “nightmare for every community.”
The shooting occurred in a neighborhood northeast of downtown Raleigh, and residents were warned to stay inside. Mayor Mary-Anne Baldwin said one of the fatally injured was an off-duty police officer.
At a news conference Friday morning, Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson said the suspect has been taken into custody and is in critical condition.
He was not identified.
No information was released about the motive or the suspect’s background.
The victims ranged in age from 16 to 52, Patterson said.
They were identified as: Nicole Connors, 52; Susan Kanats, 49; Mary Marshall, 35; Off-duty Raleigh Police Officer Gabriel Torres, 29, at work en route; and a 16-year-old Caucasian male. The teenager’s high school identified him Friday as James Thompson.
The two injured were identified as Raleigh Police Officer Casey Clark, 33, who was treated and discharged; Marcille Gardner, 59, is in critical condition.
“The horror of the night has reached our doorstep,” Cooper told reporters Thursday night. “Every community’s nightmare has come to Raleigh. This is a senseless, horrific and outrageous act of violence.”
“We have to end this mindless gun violence in our country. There are too many victims. We have to wake up,” Baldwin said.
Patterson said Friday morning that the crime scene was “extensive” and stretched for two miles.
President Joe Biden said in a statement Friday that he grieves with the families of those who lost their loved ones. He also called for a ban on assault weapons.
“Jill and I grieve with the families of Raleigh, North Carolina, whose loved ones were killed and wounded in yet another mass shooting in America,” Biden said. “We’re thinking about another community that is grieving for the loss of friends and neighbors. And mourning, including an off-duty police officer.”
He continued, “This year, even in the short five months after Buffalo and Uwald, there have been far too many mass shootings across the country, including those that didn’t even make national news . . . we An assault weapons ban must be passed.”
In a statement Friday from Knightdale High School Principal Keith Richardson, he announced that junior James Thompson was one of the victims of the mass shooting. Richardson said the school will provide mental health resources for students and staff in need.
“This is an unexpected loss and we are deeply saddened by it. Our condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to James’ family, the other victims, their families and all those affected by yesterday’s events.”
Police responded to calls about someone being shot in the 6000 block of Osprey Cove Drive shortly after 5 p.m. Patterson said the shooting took place on a nearby street before the suspect fled to the News River Greenway, where more victims were shot.
police station Advice to Residents Stay indoors in the leafy neighborhood known as Hedingham. Aerial video from NBC affiliate WRAL showed a large police presence.
A witness named Robert Anderson told NBC’s “Today” show he saw the gunman from the rear deck.
“He has a camouflage shirt, camouflage pants, black boots, he also has a backpack and it looks like he’s packed,” he said in an interview that aired on Friday.
“He’s walking, and when I tell you he’s walking, it’s like nothing’s happening,” Anderson explained. “He’s just looking straight ahead.” He put the gun aside, it pointed down, and he was just walking. “
Another witness told WRAL She saw neighbors trying to help off-duty officers who were bleeding in the car.
A witness told the station she saw the gunman flee the scene and disappear into a nearby park. He was wearing black boots and looked like a teenager, she said.
“He looked like a baby,” she told WRAL, adding: “I can’t even explain it in words. It’s not good.”
correct (October 14, 2022 10:10AM ET): A previous version of this article misreported the age of one of the injured individuals. The victim in critical condition is 5not 50.
Lindsay Pipia and Antonio Planas contributed.