RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) — It’s been a month since Raleigh police say a teenager shot and killed five people in the Hedingham community. Neighbors are still trying to put the pieces together after a mass shooting that broke the hearts of countless people in the community and across the city.
“I feel sad because we never expected something like this to happen here,” said Sandy Castro, who lives in the Hedingham community.
On Sunday, she reflected on the past month.
“I was driving on New Hope Road when the first police car came, and sure enough, I pulled over. And then it was the second, third, fourth,” Castro said.
She said she stopped counting after the 40th police cruiser zipped by on New Hope Road.
Raleigh police say a teenage gunman unleashed terror on this community. The first 9-1-1 call was made that evening at 5:09 p.m. The nightmare ended shortly after 9:30 p.m. when officers found the 15-year-old alleged shooter with a gunshot wound.
Neighbor Pepe Caudillo said the tragedy changed his life forever.
“It still feels like it happened yesterday, and it means so much. It affects us in ways you don’t even know,” he said.
After the mass shooting, all five victims lay to rest. Family and friends said their final goodbyes to Nicole Connors, Mary Marshall, Susan Karnatz, RPD Officer Gabriel Torres and the youngest victim, James Thompson.
An injured RPD officer was treated for his injuries and released. Marcelle Gardner, who was shot, is still being treated at the hospital.
“It was scary. Now, when I hear police cars or ambulances here, my heart starts beating faster,” Castro said.
Eyewitness News learned this week that the 15-year-old accused gunman, identified by his family as Austin Thompson, has been transferred from WakeMed to a rehab facility.
This society is bound by tragedy. What many people do not understand is why this happened.
“I don’t know how long it’s going to take for this community to heal. Again. I don’t know if it’s ever going to happen. I think it’s shocking. So, unfortunately, it’s going to happen in our minds for a long time,” Caudillo said.
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