Wake County DA will seek to try teenage mass shooting suspect as an adult

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Friday, October 14, 2022
Wake Co. DA will seek to try mass shooting suspect as adult
Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said the teen suspect in the mass shooting deaths of 5 people could be tried as an adult. He remains at a hospital in critical condition.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- As Raleigh police continue to investigate after Thursday's mass shooting that left five dead and two others injured, speculation swirls around the juvenile suspect and his possible motives.

Police have confirmed the suspect is a 15-year-old boy. He's at the hospital in critical condition, according to Raleigh police.

It's not clear whether he injured himself or was injured when officers took him into custody Thursday evening.

The suspect is related to one of the victims.

Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said Friday that "based on the mass fatality and the violence here, we do intend to intend to seek charges against him as an adult and to proceed to Superior Court with this case."

Freeman added that the maximum sentence would be life without parole if he is tried as an adult.

"This is the first time we've had this sort of mass shooting in the 25 years I have worked within the criminal justice system, so there's no question for us and the community to know that today, this many people simultaneously woke up without loved ones because of senseless violence," Freeman said. "This is a different kind of case, no doubt about it."

She also said that state law makes all petitions confidential.

She added that within 15 days of being served, the suspect would be entitled to a probable cause hearing (that could be altered because of his mental health or physical condition.

Freeman said that since the suspect is hospitalized, he has not been served.

Raleigh mass shooting leaves 5 dead, 2 injured: What we know (1 of 8)

Raleigh Police said Friday morning that these five people were the victims who died in the shooting:

  • Nicole Connors, 52
  • Susan Karnatz, 49
  • Mary Marshall, 35
  • Gabriel Torres, 29
  • James Thompson, 16

These two others were injured and remain at WakeMed:

  • Marcille Gardner, 59
  • The 15-year-old shooting suspect

Two of the victims were police officers.

Gabriel Torres was an off-duty officer killed in the shooting. He was on his way to work when he was gunned down.

"This is an extremely, extremely painful event for our officers and me," RPD Chief Estella Patterson said. "I was immediately taken aback, shocked by what occurred."

Casey Joseph Clark, 33, is a K-9 handler who was injured in the shooting, but he has since been released from the hospital.

The 16-year-old victim, James Thompson, was a junior at Knightdale High School.

"This is an incredibly difficult time for our school community as well as the broader Raleigh community," Principal Keith Richardson wrote in a statement to parents. He went on to say counselors and the District Crisis Team would be available on campus for the next week to support anyone who needs assistance.

"There are several families in our community waking up this morning without their loved ones," Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin said. "No one can imagine what they're all going through."