North Carolina ‘mass shooter’ has been identified as 15-year-old Knightdale High School sophomore, Austin Thompson
Thompson began his shooting rampage on Thursday with shooting his brother, before killing his neighbor in Raleigh and three other people
Police say he fatally shot at least two people in the streets of the Hedingham neighborhood in Raleigh, North Carolina’s capital city
He then fled towards the Nuese River Trail area where he shot some of the victims, before retreating to a barn
Before he was captured following hours-long stand-ff with police, Austin Thompson shot seven people, killing five, including a police officer on his way to work
Fatalities have been identified as James Thompson, 16, Susan Karnatz, 49, Nicole Connors, 52, Mary Marshall, 35, and off-duty police officer Gabriel Torres, 29
Thompson also shot officer Casey Clark and Austin and Marcielle Gardner, 59 – both survived, but Gardner is hospitalized and listed in critical condition.
Nicole’s husband, Tracey, found her dead in the street along with their dog, which had also been shot dead
Witnesses said Austin Thompson was dressed in camouflage while carrying a long rifle
Police have not yet revealed his motive and it’s unclear how he obtained the assault rifle
After being was captured suffering ‘multiple injuries’ and a gunshot wound to the head Thompson is hospitalized in critical condition at WakeMed
The Wake County DA is preparing to charge the teenage gunman as an adult if he survives
The teenage gunman who shot and killed five people Thursday night in a North Carolina neighborhood suffered a gunshot wound to the head when he was taken into custody, police said.
Austin Thompson, 15, murdered his older brother, 16-year-old James Thompson, and his neighbor Nicole Connors first. He reportedly, then shot Susan Karnatz, 49, Mary Marshall, 35, and off-duty police officer Gabriel Torres, 29. Raleigh police officer Torres was on his way to work when he was killed.
When he killed his neighbor Nicole Connors, the gunman also killed her dog, Sami.
He also shot and injured two more people before his rampage came to an end, both survived.
The gunman first started shooting on Sahalee Way, then made his way down to the Neuse River Greenway where he shot some of the victims.
He then fled the scene of the crime scene to a barn six miles from his home where he barricaded himself inside for several hours.
Before he was taken into custody, police said Thompson suffered a ‘life threatening injury.’
Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson said Austin is in critical condition at WakeMed Health and Hospitals with multiple injuries. If Thompson survives, she expects him to be charged as an adult.
‘In consideration of the mass number of lives lost, it’s appropriate that this case be handled in Superior Court and this individual prosecuted as an adult,’ Patterson said.
The News and Observer reports that Thompson was sometimes seen with a bookbag in the early hours of the morning.
‘I used to see him at 4:30, 5 in the morning with a bookbag on,’ said Lavarius Thompson, an unrelated neighbor. ‘Buses don’t run until 7 in the morning.’
Neighbors also said that Thompson lived with his father, who worked as a handyman, and would often help on jobs.
Other neighbors in the Hedingham subdivision who were also classmates of the gunman told WRAL they did not see any red flags prior to the shootings.
A 911 call was made by a friend of Torres told the dispatcher: ‘He’s one of yours! He’s an officer!’ he is heard pleading with the dispatcher.
The caller reported that he had been driving a ‘white car’, that he was carrying a ‘shotgun’.
Austin also shot two others – Marcielle Gardner, 59, and police officer Casey Clark. They both survived, but Gardner is in the hospital in critical condition.
The gunman Austin Thompson is a sophomore at Knightdale High School. He is hospitalized in critical condition after he was arrested with gunshot wound to the head. His first victim is his older sibling but the family have not spoken out on his killing spree.
Marshall’s partner Robert Steele wrote in a heartbreaking post: ‘The love of my life was killed last night by a cowardly individual. She was shot while walking our dog.
‘I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to do. My world has been completely destroyed.’
Karnatz’s husband, Tom, shared this heartbreaking post on Facebook: ‘We had big plans together.
‘And we had little plans together. We had plans together for big adventures And plans together for the mundane days in between.
‘We had plans together with the boys. And we had plans together as empty nesters. We had plans together for growing old. Always together. Now those plans are laid to waste.
‘We have big memories together. And we have little memories together. We have memories together of joyous occasions. And memories together of plain times in between.’
‘We have memories together from before the boys. And memories, many memories together with the boys. Always and for ever, memories together.’
His motive remains unknown, and it is also not yet clear if he knew his victims.
Eyewitnesses told WRAL that they saw the gunman dressed in camouflage clothing with a backpack and black boots, crouching down, and said he was ‘aged between 13 and 16’.
‘He looked like a baby. I just don’t even have the words to explain. This is not OK.’
The shootings happened in the street. The gunman then fled towards the trail, where he shot some of the victims, before retreating to a barn. The crime scene spanned two miles, police said.
According to police the 15-year-old boy fatally shot at least two people in the streets of the Hedingham neighborhood in Raleigh, North Carolina’s capital city. The gunman then fled towards the Nuese River Trail area where he shot some of the victims, before retreating to a barn.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said: ‘Tonight, terror has reached our doorstep. The nightmare of every community has come to Raleigh.’
A local resident named Robert said: ‘I heard two gunshots, and they were really loud so I knew something was close by, and then I heard three other gunshots.
‘I saw him basically pass my house in the backyard. He had a long-barrel shotgun. He was dressed in camo. He had a full backpack on that was also camouflage.’
The quiet neighborhood is populated with single-family homes and golf courses.
Mary-Ann Baldwin, the mayor of Raleigh, said the suspect was ‘contained’, but police would not say whether they could communicate with him and his condition is not clear.
With local media broadcasting footage of the off-duty police officer’s car riddled with bullets, Mayor Baldwin said it was ‘a sad and tragic day for the city of Raleigh’.
The mayor, visibly shaken, continued: ‘It’s a tragic day, because Raleigh police has lost one of its own.’
She said that more must be done to combat gun violence.
‘We must stop this mindless violence in America. We must address gun violence. We have much to do, and tonight we have much to mourn.’
Roy Cooper, the governor of North Carolina, praised law enforcement for their bravery, adding: ‘This is a senseless, infuriating and horrific act of violence that has been carried out against our community.’
ABC 11 said that there was a standoff, with the suspect barricaded in a barn.
A drone was sent into the barn to try and negotiate with the suspect, but the drone malfunctioned, the station said, but a huge emergency response started arriving on the scene at around 5pm.