Parents of Accused NC Mass Shooter Break Silence

They say they are 'overcome with grief' at what their son allegedly did
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 19, 2022 1:00 AM CDT
Parents of Accused North Carolina Mass Shooter Break Silence
An ambulance believed to be carrying a shooting suspect arrives at Wake Medical Center Emergency Room in Raleigh, NC, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, surrounded by police.   (AP Photo/Karl DeBlaker, File)

The parents of a 15-year-old boy accused of killing five people in a North Carolina shooting rampage released a statement Tuesday saying they are “overcome with grief” and saw no warning signs before the killings, the AP reports. Alan and Elise Thompson issued the statement through a lawyer that acknowledges the pain caused by their son, Austin, and expresses grief for the five killed on Thursday, including their other teenage son, 16-year-old James. Witnesses described in 911 calls that the shooter opened fire with a shotgun in a neighborhood northeast of downtown Raleigh and along an adjacent walking trail. “Our son Austin inflicted immeasurable pain on the Raleigh community, and we are overcome with grief for the innocent lives lost,” the statement said.

The statement said they will fully cooperate with law enforcement to help investigators understand what happened, but they have questions themselves. Authorities have not discussed a motive for the shooting. “There were never any indications or warning signs that Austin was capable of doing anything like this,” the statement said. Reached by phone Tuesday night, Elise Thompson declined to comment outside of the statement. Austin Thompson remains hospitalized in critical condition following his arrest on Thursday night, hours after the shooting began. The Wake County prosecutor has said she will pursue adult charges against the suspect. Authorities had previously identified the shooter as a 15-year-old boy but had not publicly released the name. (Read about the victims here.)

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