RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Raleigh Police Department said a 15-year-old was responsible for the mass shooting that killed five people and injured two others Thursday night.
The shooting started around 5 p.m. in the Hedingham neighborhood near Osprey Cove Drive and Bay Harbor Drive. Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson said Friday morning that the crime scene spanned around 2 miles across the neighborhood.
The suspect first shot a relative of his inside their home. Then he went outside and shot two women in the streets of the neighborhood before running toward the Neuse River Greenway Trail. Before getting to the trail he shot Officer Gabriel Torres, who was on his way to start his shift with the police department.
"He's an off duty Raleigh police officer. (The shooter) shot him for no reason. He's bleeding from his chest," a caller told 911.
Next, the teen made his way onto the greenway trail where he opened fire, killing two more people.
Witnesses said the suspect was armed with a long gun, but investigators have not released any confirmation or specifics about the weapon.
Terror spread through the city Thursday evening as the suspect remained at large for hours with police calling it an active shooter situation.
Eventually an RPD K-9 officer tracked the suspect to a shed where he barricaded himself after the shootings. During the standoff the K-9 officer (handler) was wounded and taken to a hospital where he was treated and released. Shortly after 9:30 p.m., the teen was taken into custody at Old Milburnie Road and McConnel Oliver Drive. He had life-threatening injuries when he was brought in -- investigators said he was in critical condition at WakeMed.
Investigators have not said whether the suspect injured himself or was injured by officers taking him into custody. His identity has also not been released, although ABC News has confirmed that he was a relative of one of the victims he killed.
The shooter's motive remains unknown. RPD said officers continue to investigate and will release a five-day report as is customary for incidents like this.
"Today we're sad, we're angry and we want to know the answers to all the questions," Gov. Roy Cooper said Friday morning. "I think we all know the core truth -- no neighborhood, no parent, no child, no grandparent, no one should feel this fear in their communities -- no one."
According to The Associated Press, this event was the 25th mass killing in 2022 in which the victims were fatally shot. A mass killing is defined as when four or more people are killed (not including the perpetrator).
In North Carolina, this marks the 123rd mass shooting since 2013. In total, that violence has resulted in 128 deaths and 463 injuries.
Five people died in the shooting, including an off-duty police officer.
Two other people were injured in the shooting -- one of them remains in the hospital with critical injuries; the other, who has been released from the hospital, is an officer.
Reaction to shooting
"My heart is heavy because we don't have answers as to why this tragedy occurred," Patterson said Friday morning during a press conference. "But what I can tell you is that the Raleigh Police Department and the Raleigh community is resilient and we stand strong and we will heal."
Many people are still just trying to process what all unfolded in that neighborhood.
"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."
ABC11 spoke with one neighbor who can't believe what happened.
"Right now I'm just confused, you know? Quiet neighborhood. I ain't seen so much violence like this in a minute, man. Just shocking, man, you know?" Lavarius Thompson said.
Another resident who spoke to ABC11 said the neighborhood was in shock.
"A lot of police activity, honestly I was actually in the house with my child, my oldest child, and we were hearing a lot of sirens and it was like, kind of alarming because it was more than a couple," Victoria McGraw said. "The most alarming part had to be my youngest daughter, she was with her dad, and he just kept calling me, like what was going on, and he was seeing a flood of police officers coming in and that's when I looked outside and there were police officers up and down the street."
Hilary Tew was out with Hope Lutheran Church feeding people Thursday. The church handed out 300 meals to people grieving in the community. Tew formerly worked for RPD and says she feels especially bad for the family of Gabriel Torres.
"You're never really off duty in that profession and I continue to have respect for people who wear the badge and everybody who can't let their guard down a day-to-day basis. They are out there protecting and serving whether they are in uniform or not," she said.
Hedingham resident Brad Fabanich was working in Garner when the shooting happened. He said he dropped what he was doing and ran home because he was worried about his wife Celeste and their newborn baby girl.
"I was mid interviewing a kid for a job, had to tell him I'm done," Fabanich said. "When I was stuck right there for 45 minutes to an hour, not knowing if my girls were safe...that was terrifying. So going to work today knowing I wasn't with the girls for the remainder of the day was tough."
Law enforcement response
It took a big effort from multiple agencies to arrest the suspect.
Several agencies, along with the Raleigh Police Department responded and were on the ground engaging in the manhunt until the suspect was in custody.