Raleigh police release new details, timeline of the mass shooting that left 5 dead, 2 injured

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Friday, October 21, 2022
Raleigh police release new details, timeline of mass shooting
The suspect in last week's mass shooting was armed with a shotgun, a handgun, and a hunting knife, police said in a new report.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The teen suspect in last week's mass shooting was armed with a shotgun, a handgun, and a hunting knife.

Those are some of the new details that the Raleigh Police Department released in its five-day report on the mass shooting that left five people dead, two others injured, and a community shattered.

The report describes a chaotic and tense four hours and 27 minutes -- from the first 911 call to when officers captured the 15-year-old suspect.

Police said that based on available information, there doesn't appear to be any connection between the victims and the suspect, other than they lived in the same neighborhood. The report does not identify the juvenile suspect but his parents have said he is their 15-year-old son Austin Thompson.

A motive for the shooting spree remains unknown.

911 calls pour in as terror unfolds in neighborhood

According to the report, the events unfolded when a call for service was received last Thursday at 5:09 p.m. near the golf course in the Hedingham community regarding multiple shots fired.

As Raleigh police officers were responding to that call, additional calls began to come in regarding the discovery of shooting victims in the area.

At about 5:12 p.m., a 911 caller reported hearing shots and shortly thereafter saw two people lying on the ground and porch in the 5300 block of Sahalee Way.

The first victim, Marcille Gardner, was found lying in the driveway of a residence in the 5300 block of Sahalee Way, and the second victim, Nicole Connors, was seen on the front porch of the same home. Connors later died at the hospital. Gardner remains hospitalized in critical but stable condition.

Connors' dog was also found shot dead.

Another 911 call came in regarding a shooting in the 6000 block of Osprey Cove Drive. The caller said they observed a Raleigh police officer had been shot in his vehicle by a male wearing camouflage clothing.

The officer, Gabriel Torres, was sitting inside his personal vehicle and about to leave for work when he was shot. Torres, who joined the force in March 2021, later died at the hospital from his injuries.

About seven minutes after the initial call came in, police officers descended on the Hedingham neighborhood.

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More callers to emergency dispatch described the shooter as a young white male with a shotgun last seen running toward the Neuse River Greenway Trail.

Two minutes later, another 911 caller said they discovered two more people suffering from gunshot wounds at separate locations along the greenway.

Mary Marshall, who was walking her dog, and Susan Karnatz, who was out on a run, were both found dead at the scene.

Shots exchanged as officers close in

Multiple state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies helped RPD expand the search area, which prompted nearby schools and assisted living facilities to go into lockdown protocols.

Finally, at approximately 6:42 p.m., officers tracked the suspect to an area with barn-like structures near McConnell Oliver Drive.

As officers were closing in, the suspect fired multiple shots at the officers from one of the buildings, wounding Officer Casey Clark, who fell to the ground.

Several officers returned fire. Officers then used cover fire so Clark could be pulled to safety and treated for his injuries.

A preliminary investigation indicates that RPD officers fired an estimated 23 rounds at the outbuilding.

Officers established a perimeter and gave the suspect repeated commands to come out with his hands up and to surrender his weapons. Officers with the Selective Enforcement Unit (SEU) used tactical equipment to identify the exact location of the suspect in the outbuilding and the weapons in his possession.

At 9:34 p.m., nearly three hours after cornering the suspect, SEU officers advanced toward the outbuilding and found the suspect inside, lying on the ground and suffering from a single gunshot wound.

Weapons found, arrest made

At the time, the teen suspect was wearing camouflage clothing and a backpack. He had a handgun in his waistband.

The backpack contained various items, including ammunition for shotguns and rifles.

A large hunting knife was found at the front of the outbuilding and the sheath was clipped to his belt.

Officers found a shotgun and shotgun shells on the ground nearby.

Officers handcuffed the suspect and EMS workers rendered aid and rushed him to WakeMed, where he remains with grave injuries.

The Thompson family released a statement this week that said there were never any indications or warning signs that their 15-year-old son Austin, the shooting suspect, was capable of this. They also said his condition was "improving" after being taken into custody in critical condition.

One of the victims was his older brother, James Thompson, 16, who was remembered Thursday evening at a celebration of life service at Trinity Baptist Church on Six Forks Road.

James Thompson, a 16-year-old Knightdale High student, was remembered at a funeral on Thursday afternoon.

Police said they believe James Thompson was the first person killed. He was found in a home along Sahalee Way with a gunshot wound and stab wounds.

Police later found fired projectiles inside a home in the 2200 block of Castle Pines Drive.

Map shows shooting suspect's projected path


RPD said it believes the suspect shot James Thompson first, then Marcille Gardner, Nicole Connors and her dog, Officer Torres, Mary Marshall, Susan Karnatz, and Officer Clark.

The "collective motive for these attacks is still unknown," the report said.

RPD officers Sgt. K.M. Smithey and D.M. Garner, who both fired their weapons, have been placed on administrative duty, as is standard.

Police ask anyone with further information on this case to call Raleigh Crimestoppers at (919) 996-1193.