Raleigh mass shooting suspect to be tried as an adult: District Attorney

BySean Coffey and ABC11 Digital Staff WTVD logo
Thursday, October 5, 2023
Accused Raleigh mass shooter to be tried as an adult: DA
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Austin Thompson is facing murder charges in the deaths of 5 people in the Hedingham Community on October 13, 2022.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The teenager charged in the October 13, 2022 mass shooting in Raleigh will be tried as an adult, the Wake County District Attorney's Office announced Wednesday.

Austin Thompson is facing murder charges in the deaths of James Thompson (his brother), Officer Gabriel Torres, Mary Marshall, Nicole Connors and Susan Karnartz.

Thompson has already been indicted by a grand jury and was 15 years old when the shootings happened.

Police said all five people were gunned down during Thompson's shooting spree in the Hedingham Community.

"Yes, absolutely. Wonderful news. Good news. Glad to see it. That was my first reaction," said Robert Steele, whose fiancé Mary Marshall was one of the five people killed during the shooting.

Steele says the decision Wednesday to try Thompson as an adult - and in doing so make the proceedings public - wasn't only the right decision, it was a necessary one.

"I think everybody needs to be able to see how this case goes and be able to follow along if they want to," Steele said.

Wake County DA Lorrin Freeman told ABC11 that providing that transparency to a city rocked by such a heinous crime was paramount.

"I think that any time we have this type of a case that has such intense interest in the public that impacts so many people in the way that this case did, you know, that's really important that people feel like they can know what's happening," Freeman said.

That case is now laid bare for the public to see. Prosecutors allege he murdered his brother in the Hedingham neighborhood before gunning down four more people, including a Raleigh police officer, on the Neuse River Greenway.

"We are glad today at least to be in a position that we feel like we are moving one step closer to being able to bring closure for these victims' families," Freeman said.

Thompson is also charged with attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and inflicting serious injury for the injuries sustained by Marcille Lynn Gardner; and with attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and inflicting serious injury, and assault with a firearm on a law enforcement officer for the injuries sustained by Raleigh Officer C. Clark.

The DA's office said Alan Thompson has been cited for a misdemeanor charge of storing a firearm in a manner accessible to a minor.

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