At least five people, including an off-duty police officer, were killed in a shooting in the North Carolina capital of Raleigh on Thursday, officials in the southeastern US city said, adding that a suspect had been apprehended.
Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin said the shooting happened near the Neuse River Greenway, a popular trail in the area.
“This is a sad and tragic day for the city of Raleigh. Multiple people were shot this evening just after 5:00 p.m.,” she said at a press conference.
The Raleigh Police Department “confirmed five fatalities. One of them was an off-duty Raleigh police officer.”
Raleigh Police Lt. Jason Borneo said at a subsequent press conference that a “white male juvenile” was taken into custody after the shooting just after 9:30 p.m.
The mayor had earlier reported that the shooting victim was being held by police at a residence in the area.
Borneo said one victim remains in critical condition.
Borneo reported that a dog officer was among the injured and taken to hospital, although one injured police officer was released.
Asked about the motive for the firing, he said it “will happen” in the coming days.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told reporters at an evening press conference: “Terror has arrived at our doorstep tonight.”
“Every community’s nightmare has come to the rally. It’s senseless, horrific and infuriating violence.”
According to the Gun Violence Archive website, gun violence is a major problem in the United States, with more than 34,000 people killed in shootings so far in 2022 alone, more than half of which were suicides.
“We have to do more,” Baldwin said at the press conference.
“We must end this senseless violence in America. We must address gun violence. We have a lot to do and a lot to mourn tonight.”
The North Carolina shooting comes after a jury sentenced Nikolas Cruz to life in prison for shooting 17 people at a Florida high school in 2018.
Mass shootings have repeatedly stunned the nation and reignited the debate over gun control, a hot-button cultural issue that has made little headway in Congress.
However, recent gun attacks, including a school shooting in Texas and a supermarket frequented by African-Americans in New York state, have sent shockwaves across the country, prompting lawmakers to agree for the first time in June. 30 years, to introduce modest reform in gun control laws.
According to the Small Arms Survey Project, there were approximately 400 million guns in circulation among the general population in the United States in 2017, or 120 guns for every 100 people.
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