Police: Teen kills 2 in Raleigh neighborhood, 3 along trail

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A 15-year-old boy fatally shot two people in the streets of a neighborhood in North Carolina’s capital, then fled toward a hiking trail where he opened fire, killing three more people and wounding two others, police said. Friday.

Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson said the teenager was hospitalized in critical condition after the shootings late Thursday afternoon. 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 was 29-year-old Raleigh police officer Gabriel Torres, who was on his way to work when the shooting began. Police identified the other victims as: Nicole Conners, 52; Mary Marshall, 34; Susan Karnatz, 49; and James Roger Thompson, 16.

Marcille Lynn Gardner, 59, was injured and remained hospitalized in critical condition Friday. Another police officer, Casey Joseph Clark, 33, was injured and released from the hospital.

The teenager, who was not immediately identified by police, eluded officers for hours before he was cornered at a home and arrested, police said. Officials have not said how he was injured.

The shooting set off a massive police response and manhunt, with police searching an area of ​​more than 2 miles (3 kilometers) to find and capture the teenager, Patterson said.

Gov. Roy Cooper called the shooting an “outrageous and tragic act of gun violence.”

“Today we are sad, we are 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 this fear in their community — no one.”

The shooting broke out around 5 p.m. in a residential neighborhood northeast of downtown, Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin said. Officers from several law enforcement agencies swarmed the area, closing roads and warning residents to stay inside while they searched for the shooter.

The Neuse River Greenway runs right behind the backs of the houses in the Hedingham neighborhood where the shooting began. The trail runs about 27 miles (43 kilometers) along the river and connects to the state’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail, which is popular with hikers. The stretch behind the neighborhood is paved and lies down a grassy slope from the houses.

Karnatz’s husband, Tom Karnatz, said she was an avid runner who often ran 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 to the family home on Friday. “We are absolutely devastated and miss her very much.”

In the driveway, a silver minivan and a Toyota Camry had matching 26.2 stickers – which symbolize a marathon kilometer. The minivan’s license plate read simply: “RUNNR.”

Woodrow Glass, a 74-year-old retiree, was a neighbor of the Conners in the neighborhood where the shooting occurred. He said the shooting highlights the need for policies to keep guns out of the hands of young people. While the type of weapon used was not clear, Glass noted that the gun had enough power to cause multiple deaths.

“Why would a kid have a gun like that? That he could cause so many deaths, you know?” Glass said.

Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin said the shooting has brought home the need to “stop the senseless gun violence that has gripped 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 tried in juvenile court. But a juvenile court judge must transfer the case to the Supreme Court so the youth can be tried as an adult if the 15-year-old is charged with first-degree murder and determines there is probable cause that the suspect committed the crime. The authorities have not commented on what charges the suspect may face.

The Raleigh shooting was the latest in a violent week across the country. Five people were killed Sunday in a shooting at a home in Inman, South Carolina. On Wednesday night, two police officers were fatally shot in Connecticut after apparently being drawn into an ambush. on an emergency call about possible domestic violence. Police officers have been shot this week in Greenville, Mississippi; Decatur, Illinois; 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 killing of 2022 in which victims were fatally shot, 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.

Brooke Medina, who lives in the neighborhood bordering the greenway, was driving home around 5:15 p.m. Thursday when she saw about two dozen police cars, both marked and unmarked, heading toward the residential area about 9 miles from Raleigh’s. center.

She and her husband, who worked from home with their four children, began reaching out to neighbors and realized there was a shelter program in place.

The family closed all their blinds, locked the doors and gathered in an upstairs hallway, said Medina, who works as a communications director at a think tank. The family listened to the police scanner and watched local news before heading back downstairs when the father appeared to have moved further away from their home.

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Associated Press writers Denise Lavoie in Richmond, Virginia; Stefanie Dazio in Los Angeles; Michael Kunzelman in Silver Spring, Maryland; and Allen G. Breed in Raleigh contributed to this report.

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