A 15-year-old suspect has been taken into custody after a ‘long standoff’ with police in connection with a shooting that left five dead and two injured on Thursday night in Raleigh, North Carolina, officials said .
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper called the shooting “a nightmare of all communities.”
The shooting unfolded in a neighborhood northeast of downtown Raleigh and prompted residents to stay indoors. One of the fatally injured was an off-duty police officer, Mayor Mary-Anne Baldwin said.
At a news conference Friday morning, Raleigh Police Chief Estella D. Patterson said the suspect was arrested after an effort by a coalition of local security agencies and was found in critical condition.
He has not been identified.
No information regarding a motive or the suspect’s background has been shared as the investigation is ongoing.
Patterson said the victims killed were between the ages of 16 and 52.
They have been identified as: Nicole Connors, 52, Susan Karnatz, 49, Mary Marshall, 35, off-duty Raleigh police officer Gabriel Torres on his way to work, 29, and a 16-year-old white man year.
In addition to the deceased, two people were injured in the shooting: Raleigh Police Officer Casey Clark, 33, who was treated and has since been discharged from hospital, and Marcille Gardner, 59, who remains in a critical condition.
“Tonight the terror has reached our doorsteps,” Cooper told reporters Thursday night. “Every community’s nightmare has happened in Raleigh. A senseless, horrific and maddening act of violence has taken place.”
Baldwin said, “We need to end this senseless gun violence that is happening across our country. There are too many casualties. We need to wake up.”
Shortly before 6 p.m. Raleigh police said officers were responding to an “active shootout” northeast of downtown.
A witness named Robert Anderson told NBC’s “TODAY” he saw the shooter from his back deck.
“He had on a camo shirt, camo pants, black boots, he also had a backpack that seemed filled to the brim,” he said in an interview that aired on Friday.
“He was walking, and when I tell you he was walking, it was like nothing happened,” Anderson explained. “He was just walking looking straight ahead, he had his gun to the side and it was pointing down and he was walking.”
Another witness who spotted the apparent shooter said WRAL that she saw neighbors trying to help the off-duty officer, who was inside a bleeding car.
The witness told the station that she saw the shooter flee the scene and disappear into a nearby park. He wore black boots and appeared to be a teenager, she said.
“He looked like a baby,” she told WRAL, adding, “I don’t even have the words to explain. It’s not OK.”
Lindsey Pipia contributed.