Cops: Alleged Raleigh Mass Shooter, 15, Killed His Brother

More details are coming out on the victims of last week's tragedy
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2022 12:00 AM CDT
Alleged Raleigh Mass Shooter, 15, Killed His Own Brother, 16: Cops
Raleigh's Hedingham neighborhood entrance sign becomes a makeshift memorial Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022, following Thursday's mass shooting in the neighborhood and on the nearby Neuse River greenway trail.   (Travis Long/The News & Observer via AP)

The 16-year-old victim killed in Thursday's Raleigh, North Carolina, mass shooting was the older brother of the suspected gunman, police say. The 15-year-old alleged shooter has been identified as Austin Thompson, the Raleigh News & Observer reports; his family lives in the Hedingham neighborhood where five people were slaughtered last week and two others shot and injured. James Thompson, 16, was among the dead. His brother, the suspect, remains hospitalized in "grave" condition after being taken into custody with life-threatening injuries, a law enforcement source tells ABC News. The county DA says he plans to charge him as an adult, "assuming he recovers," Fox News reports. It's not clear whether he shot himself or was hit by a shot fired by a police officer. His alleged motive is also not clear.

WRAL spoke (via phone and text) to a man and a woman "believed to be family members of the suspected shooter," though the woman would not confirm she was the mother of the suspect and one of the victims when asked. The man, however, when asked if one of his sons was the suspect and another a victim, responded, "That's what I've been told." Asked later if she wanted to say something to the families of those killed, the woman responded, "Depends on what lawyers suggest we do, of course, we want to say something to the victims' families." Police say the first two victims were killed in the neighborhood before the shooter moved to the neighborhood's greenway or nature trail and killed three more people. More details about the other victims are coming out:

  • Nicole Connors, 52: Her husband says she had stepped out onto the porch with the couple's dog to go on a walk; both she and the dog were shot dead. A neighbor who had walked over to chat was also shot, and was found lying in the couple's driveway; she was critically injured and remains hospitalized. "Nothing seems real," says Connors' husband, who had run out to the store Thursday and returned to find his wife bleeding on their porch. The couple lives two doors down from the Thompsons, and Connors' husband says he would wave to the suspect when he saw him in the neighborhood, but the boy wouldn't always respond. "I just can't believe it was him."

  • Susan Karnatz, 49: Her father tells the Daily Beast the "dedicated runner" was out running the trail when she was killed. Her husband, with whom she shares three sons ages 10, 13, and 14, wrote a tribute to her 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," he wrote. "We had plans together with the boys and we had plans together as empty nesters. We had plans together for growing old."
  • Mary Marshall, 34: She was out walking her dog when she was killed, her fiance told Today, per the New York Post. He says she called him just before she was killed asking him to come home right away because she'd heard gunshots during her walk, and was trying to rescue their dog, who'd gotten out of his collar. The couple was to be married Oct. 29, and her birthday was coming up Oct. 24, WRAL reports.
  • Gabriel Torres, 29: He was shot as he was leaving for his shift with the Raleigh Police Department, ABC News reports. The former Marine is survived by his wife and 2-year-old daughter. The other person injured was a K-9 police officer who has already been released from the hospital; a police dog was also shot and injured.
WRAL has rounded up GoFundMe campaigns set up for some of the victims and their families here. (More North Carolina stories.)

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