Five killed, including police officer, in North Carolina shooting

The shooting in state capital Raleigh is the latest in a violent week across the US.

An ambulance believed to be carrying a shooting suspect arrives at Wake Medical Center Emergeny Room in Raleigh, N.C., Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022 surrounded by police
An ambulance believed to be carrying a shooting suspect arrives at Wake Medical Center Emergency Department in Raleigh, North Carolina [Karl DeBlaker/AP Photo]

Five people have been killed by a gunman who opened fire along a walking trail in North Carolina in the United States and eluded officers for hours before he was cornered in a home and arrested, police said.

An off-duty police officer was among those killed on Thursday by the suspect, who police in state capital Raleigh said on Friday was a 15-year-old white male.

He was arrested at about 9:37pm local time (01:37 GMT on Friday), authorities said.

Raleigh police chief Estella Patterson said the suspect is hospitalised in critical condition.

Those killed were a racially diverse group and ranged in age from 16 to their late 50s, Patterson said during a news conference on Friday. She identified the deceased off-duty Raleigh police officer, Gabriel Torres, who was on his way to work when the shooting began. A second police officer was wounded and released from the hospital, while a 59-year-old critically injured woman was hospitalised.

Police have not yet determined any motive for the shooting, Patterson said.

The gunfire broke out along the Neuse River Greenway Trail in a residential area, Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin said. Law enforcement officers swarmed the area, closing roads and warning residents to stay inside while they searched for the attacker.

“Tonight, terror has reached our doorstep. The nightmare of every community has come to Raleigh. This is a senseless horrific and infuriating act of violence that has been committed,” Governor Roy Cooper said.

Authorities did not offer any details on a motive, but Baldwin joined Cooper in decrying the violence.

“We must stop this mindless violence in America, we must address gun violence,” the mayor said. “We have much to do, and tonight we have much to mourn.”

The Raleigh shooting was the latest in a violent week across the US. Five people were killed on 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 by an emergency call about possible domestic violence. Police officers have been shot this week in Greenville, Mississippi; Decatur, Illinois; Philadelphia, Las Vegas and central Florida. Two of those officers, one in Greenville and one in Las Vegas, died.

Thursday’s gun violence was the 25th mass killing in 2022, according to an analysis of data by The Associated Press news agency, USA Today and Northeastern University. When four or more people are killed, excluding the perpetrator, in an incident it is treated as a mass killing.

“We’re just going to hunker down for the rest of the night and be very vigilant. Keep all of our lights on, doors locked,” said Brooke Medina, who lives in the neighbourhood bordering the greenway.

She described the neighbourhood, known as Hedingham, as a sprawling, dense, tree-lined community that is full of single-family homes, duplexes and townhomes that are more moderately priced compared with other parts of Raleigh.

Allison Greenawalt, 29, who also lives in the neighbourhood, said she was sitting on the couch with her cat when she heard “three shots in a pretty rapid succession”.

“I was sitting in our house with the lights turned off and the windows closed for the majority of the evening, just waiting to hear that” the attacker had been arrested, she said.

Source: The Associated Press