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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Graig Graziosi and Gustaf Kilander

Teen Raleigh shooting suspect stabbed and shot brother before leaving home and killing four others, police say

via WRAL

Police have released a detailed report on the Raleigh mass shooting that left five dead and three wounded, including the 15-year-old suspected gunman.

The report outlines four hours and 27 minutes of terror in the city on 13 October, beginning with 911 calls about the first victims found and ending with the capture of the suspect, who is believed to remain hospitalised after sustaining “life-threatening” injuries.

It comes after the suspect was named as Austin Thompson in a statement from his heartbroken parents, who said they had no warning of the violence he committed. Authorities have not publicly named him but his identity was previously confirmed by multiple local media outlets.

Investigators believe Austin Thompson’s first victim was his 16-year-old brother James, who was found shot and stabbed at a home in the Hedingham community, the report revealed.

When he was captured, the suspect was armed with a shotgun, handgun and hunting knife, police said.

More than a week after the killing spree, the motive remains unknown.

“Words cannot begin to describe our anguish and sorrow,” parents Alan and Elise Thompson said in the statement issued on 18 October. “Our son Austin inflicted immeasurable pain on the Raleigh community, and we are overcome with grief for the innocent lives lost. We pray for the families and loved ones of Nicole Conners, Susan Karnatz, Mary Marshall, and Raleigh Police Officer Gabriel Torres.”

“We mourn for their loss and for the loss of our son, James,” they added. “We pray that Marcille ‘Lynn’ Gardner and Raleigh Police Officer Casey Clark fully recover from their injuries, and we pray for everyone who was traumatized by these senseless acts of violence.”

“We have so many unanswered questions. There were never any indications or warning signs that Austin was capable of doing anything like this,” the parents said. “Our family will continue to cooperate fully with law enforcement officials and do whatever we can to help them understand why and how this happened.”

Raleigh shooting suspect Austin Thompson (right) is seen with his older brother James (via WRAL)

Raleigh Chief of Police Estella Patterson said the 15-year-old was in critical condition when he arrived at WakeMed hospital. He had evaded police for four hours before his arrest.

ABC11 reported on Sunday that he was still in a “grave” condition at that time.

An ambulance believed to be carrying a shooting suspect arrives at Wake Medical Center Emergency Room in Raleigh, N.C., Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, surrounded by police (AP)

Lorrin Freeman, the Wake County District Attorney, said during a press conference last week that the teen would be tried as an adult despite his age.

“If the subject does survive, we will be proceeding with the intent of sending it to superior court,” she said. “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.”

A statement sent out to families of Knightdale High School, where James was a student, did not include a mention of his brother Austin.

The victims in the shooting have been identified as Nicole Conners, 52, Mary Marshall, 34, Susan Karnatz, 49, Gabriel Torres, 29, and James Thompson, 16.

Two others, Marcille “Lynn” Gardner, 59, and Casey Joseph Clark, 33, were wounded. Ms Gardner is in critical condition, and Mr Clark has been discharged after receiving treatments.

The suspect is believed to have killed his brother first, sometime before the initial 911 call reporting gunshots came in at around 5.12pm.

Gunfire continued in the streets before the shooter moved to the nearby Greenway trail and began firing at people walking on the path.

It wasn’t until 6.42pm that officers tracked the gunman down at an area with “barn-like structures”, where a shootout ensued.

Nearly three hours later, officers stormed the building at 9.34pm and found the suspect lying on the ground with a gunshot wound.

Police arrested the teen and transported him to a nearby hospital for treatment. It is unclear if the injuries the shooter sustained were self-inflicted.

In the five-day report released Friday, investigators said the “collective motive for these attacks is still unknown”.

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