New details on Raleigh mass shooting; 15-year-old armed with three weapons

Published: Oct. 20, 2022 at 3:13 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 20, 2022 at 4:13 PM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) - Police have released new details on last week’s mass shooting in Raleigh.

The report sheds light on the harrowing circumstances surrounding the deadly shooting that killed five on the evening of Thursday, Oct. 13th in the Hedingham neighborhood.

Raleigh police say that after they shot the 15-year-old suspect and took him into custody, they found several weapons in his backpack and in the surrounding area of the outbuilding where he was holed up.

Police say a handgun was in the teen’s waistband, a sheath for a large knife was clipped to his belt, a large hunting knife was at the front of the outbuilding, a shotgun and shotgun shells were lying on the ground near him, and several types of shotgun/rifle ammo were in his backpack. No other weapons were found.

The 15-year-old had previously been identified as Austin Thompson.

The report also shares that a 16-year-old boy, previously identified as the shooter’s older brother, James Thompson, was believed to have been shot and stabbed to death before any of the other shootings.

Police provided a timeline of the events of the deadly evening. They are as follows:

  • James Thompson was killed in the 5300 block of Sahalee Way.
  • At about 5:09 p.m., a call came into emergency communications saying shots were fired around the golf course in Hedingham. While officers were responding, calls came in that there were shooting victims in the area.
  • At about 5:12 p.m., a 911 caller reported hearing shots and found two people lying on the ground and porch in the 5300 block of Sahalee Way. Marcille Gardner was found lying in the driveway and Nicole Connors was found lying on the front porch of the same property.
  • Shortly after, a call came in about a shooting in the 6000 block of Osprey Cove in the same neighborhood. This call referred to Raleigh Police Officer Gabriel Torres who was inside his personal car about to leave for work when he was shot by someone wearing camouflage clothing.
  • Officers began arriving at the neighborhood at about 5:19 p.m. with blue lights and sirens. Further calls coming in around this time described the shooter as a young white man with a shotgun last seen running toward the woods. Police were given a photo of the suspect that a witness took. Officers were told that the suspect ran toward the Neuse River Greenway Trail.
  • At about 5:21 p.m., a 911 caller found two more victims dead from gunshot wounds at separate locations along the greenway. They were Mary Marshall, who was walking her dog, and Susan Karnatz, who was out on a run.
  • Several nearby buildings, including schools and assisted living facilities were put on lockdown. Police told the public to stay in their homes and told drivers to avoid the area.
  • At about 6:42 p.m., officers found the suspect in two barn-like structures (outbuildings) near McConnell Oliver Drive. As officers were searching, the suspect fired several shots.
  • At about 6:44 p.m., Officer Casey Clark fell to the ground with a gunshot wound. Several officers, from the Raleigh Police Department and other agencies, returned fire. Officers got Clark to safety and preliminary results find that Raleigh police officers shot about 23 rounds.
  • Officers surrounded the outbuilding, but were worried about the weapons the suspect had, especially because a 911 caller told them the shooter had hand grenades. Officers told the suspect to come out with his hands up and surrender.
  • At about 9:34 p.m., Selective Enforcement Unit officers advanced toward the outbuilding. The suspect was found inside lying on the ground suffering from what appeared to be a single gunshot wound.
  • At about 9:36 p.m., officers put the suspect in handcuffs. He was brought to the hospital and officers searched the outbuilding.

The report says fired “projectiles” were also found inside a home in the 2200 block of Castle Pines Drive.

WITN is told that Connors later died at the hospital from her injuries, while Gardner remains in critical but stable condition. Police say Connors’ dog was also found dead from gunshot wounds.

Police say Torres later died at the hospital from his injuries.

The report says the 15-year-old shooter remains in critical condition.

“The collective motive for these attacks is still unknown. Based on information currently available, there does not appear to be any connection between the victims that were shot by the suspect prior to his encounter with the police other than they lived in the same neighborhood,” Raleigh police say.

The Raleigh Police Department says due to policy, the two officers who shot their guns have been placed on administrative duty. The department is working to petition for the release of police bodycam video.

The State Bureau of Investigation is currently investigating the actions of the officers in this case. Raleigh police detectives are investigating the actions of the suspect.

The so-called 5-day report is required in Raleigh so that the police department is transparent with the public.

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