A 15-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of killing five people in North Carolina and is in a critical condition in a hospital, U.S. police said.
The boy, who has not been named, allegedly shot and killed two people in the state’s capital Raleigh, then opened fire on a walking trail, killing three others and wounding two others.
Among those killed in Thursday night’s attack were a 16-year-old boy named James Roger Thompson and a 29-year-old off-duty police officer named Gabriel Torres.
The other victims killed in the shooting were Nicole Connors, 52, Mary Marshall, 34, and Susan Kanats, 49.
Marcel Lynn Gardner, 59, was injured in the attack and remains in a critical condition in hospital, while another officer, Casey Joseph Clark, was also injured but has been released.
Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson said the victims were a racially diverse group and authorities had yet to determine a motive for the shooting.
The incident sparked a massive police response across the city, with officers cornering the suspect into a house and arresting him hours after searching the suspect.
Officers from numerous law enforcement agencies poured into the Hedingham neighborhood, a residential area northeast of downtown Raleigh, closing roads and warning residents to stay indoors while searching for the shooter.
‘No one should feel this fear’
Governor Roy Cooper called the attack an “outrageous and tragic act of gun violence.”
“Today we are sad, we are angry, we want to know the answers to all our questions,” he said.
“I think we all know the core truth – no neighbors, no parents, no children, no grandparents, no one should feel this fear in these communities – no one.”
President Joe Biden said in a statement that he and First Lady Jill Biden are grieving with the families of the victims and that his administration is working with Mr. Cooper to help local authorities with their investigations.
“Enough. Our hearts go out and our prayers go out to too many families who have had to bear the horrific burden of these mass shootings,” he said.
The incident in Raleigh is just the latest in a violent week in the United States, with five more people killed in a shooting in South Carolina on Sunday.
Two police officers were fatally shot in Connecticut on Wednesday night after they were apparently ambushed by an emergency call about possible domestic violence.
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This week, police were shot in Greenville, Mississippi; Decatur, Illinois; Philadelphia, Las Vegas and central Florida.
Two of the officers, one in Greenville and one in Las Vegas, were killed.
Thursday’s violence was the 25th mass killing in 2022 in which a victim was shot, according to the Northeastern University Mass Killing Database.
Mass killings were defined as the killing of four or more people, excluding the perpetrators.