Officers were called to the 4000 block of Water Oak Drive just before 12:30 a.m.
"Before I know it, I heard four quick, loud booms. I knew they were gunshots, but I didn't know what was going on," neighbor Utaveus Karter said.
When officers arrived, they found a man had been shot in the parking lot of the complex.
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They said his injuries are serious and could be life-threatening.
.@raleighpolice are still investigating at the Oaks apartments in NE Raleigh. A man was shot in the parking lot. Police say he has SERIOUS injuries that could be life threatening. #ABC11 pic.twitter.com/MviKvg7tR2— Ana Rivera (@AnaRiveraABC11) January 8, 2019
"This is the first time I've ever seen something like this," Karter said. "It kind of scared me, because that was right across from my apartment. That could've hit me or something like that."
Investigators said they have a vague description of the shooter, but they have not positively identified the culprit.