Investigators believe a 15-year-old boy killed his older brother before going on a shooting spree in North Carolina’s capital last week that killed four people and wounded two others, according to a preliminary police report released Thursday.
Authorities have yet to learn the motive of the suspect in the Oct. 13 shooting that killed five people in a Raleigh neighborhood. The police found him shot dead A preliminary report to the police chief by the city manager said he was admitted to the hospital in critical condition.
The report did not name the suspect or the 16-year-old, who police believe was the first victim. But their parents have identified the suspect as Austin Thompson and the teenager as his brother, James Thompson.
The suspect has not been charged. However, Wake County District Attorney Lorraine Freeman said her office plans to charge the 15-year-old as an adult.
A preliminary report says the 16-year-old was attacked first, based on investigators’ belief of the suspect’s direction of travel — from a home in the Hedingham subdivision, through a neighborhood and then onto a greenway.
A 16-year-old boy found dead in a home in the subdivision had been shot once and stabbed multiple times, according to the report.
Investigators believe 59-year-old Marcylee Gardner was found in the subdivision’s driveway with a suspicious wound. The suspect fatally wounded Nicole Connors, 52, killed her dog on their front porch, and shot and killed an off-duty police officer, 29-year-old Gabriel Torres, in his personal car as he drove to work. to the report.
According to the report, the suspect who killed Mary Marshall, 35, who was walking her dog, and Susan Karnatz, 49, who was jogging, ran onto the greenway.
“Based on currently available information, it does not appear that the victims who were shot by the suspect prior to the encounter with police were related other than living in the same neighborhood,” the report added.
About 90 minutes after the first 911 calls, police found the suspect in an area with two outbuildings on the property, the report said. The last shot was an officer who was shot when the suspect opened fire from an outbuilding.
Police opened fire and rescued the officer, who was fired 23 times by Raleigh officers, according to the report.
Officers set up a perimeter “due to concerns about the nature of the weapons, which included multiple firearms as well as possible hand grenades as reported in the 911 call.”
When police moved in about three hours later, they found the suspect nearby with a gun and shells, according to the report. He had a handgun at his waist and an empty knife sheath clipped to his belt. A knife was recovered from the front of the building, the report added.
According to the report, the suspect was shot once.
The two Raleigh police officers who fired the guns were on administrative duty, the report said.
The report, which city officials typically file five days after a law enforcement-involved shooting, also says police will request “agency recordings” of the two officers who used their weapons and the officer injured during the search. In North Carolina, a judge must rule on the release of body camera videos.
The suspect’s parents released a statement through their lawyers on Wednesday saying they were devastated by the loss of innocent lives, including the death of their son James.
“Our son, Austin, has caused immeasurable pain in the Raleigh community, and we mourn the loss of innocent lives,” Allen and Elise Thompson said in a statement, obtained by CNN affiliate WTVD. “Words cannot describe our pain and sorrow.”
The suspect’s parents say they don’t understand why the mass tragedy happened.
“We have many unanswered questions,” the Thompsons said in a statement. “There were no signs or warning signs that Austin could do something like this.”
The parents said they will continue to cooperate with law enforcement and do everything we can to help them understand why and how this happened.
As of Tuesday, there had been at least 546 mass shootings in the United States this year, according to the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive. That’s an average of 1.8 mass shootings per day.
The Gun Violence Archive and CNN define a mass shooting as one in which at least four people, other than the shooter, are shot and killed.