RALEIGH, North Carolina (AP) — Five people were killed by a gunman who opened fire along a walking path in North Carolina’s capital on Thursday and eluded police for hours before shooting. be cornered in a house and arrested, police said.
An off-duty police officer was among those killed by the suspect, who police described only as a young white male. He was arrested around 9:37 p.m., authorities said. His identity and age have not been disclosed.
The gunfire erupted around 5 p.m. along the Neuse River Greenway in a residential area northeast of downtown, Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin said. Officers from multiple law enforcement agencies swarmed the area, closing roads and warning residents to stay indoors while they searched for the shooter.
Among those killed was an off-duty police officer, authorities said. Two other people, including another policeman, were taken to hospital. The officer was later released, but the other survivor remained in critical condition.
“Tonight, terror has reached our doorstep. Every community’s nightmare has come to Raleigh. A senseless, horrific and maddening act of violence has been committed,” Governor Roy Cooper told reporters.
Authorities did not provide any details on a motive, but Baldwin joined Cooper in speaking out against the violence.
“We have to stop this senseless violence in America, we have to fight gun violence,” the mayor said. “We have a lot to do, and tonight we have a lot to cry.”
Brooke Medina, who lives in the neighborhood bordering the greenway, was returning home around 5:15 p.m. when she saw about two dozen police cars, marked and unmarked, racing towards the residential area about 14 kilometers from the center. city of Raleigh. . She then saw ambulances rushing in the other direction, towards the nearest hospital.
She and her husband, who were working from home with their four children, began reaching out to neighbors and realized there was a shelter-in-place order.
The family closed all their blinds, locked the doors and gathered in an upstairs hallway, said Medina, who works as vice president of communications at a think tank. The family listened to the police scanner and watched local news before heading back down once the danger appeared to have cleared their home.
“We’re just going to hunker down for the rest of the night and be extra vigilant. Keep all our lights on, doors locked,” she said.
She described the neighborhood known as Hedingham as a sprawling, dense, tree-lined community that is full of single-family homes, duplexes and townhouses that are more moderately priced than other parts of the area. of Raleigh.
Medina said she often takes her kids for bike rides along the greenway during the day, but usually brings pepper spray just in case.
“There are a lot of places where you could disappear,” she said.
The Raleigh shooting was the latest in a violent week across the country. Five people were killed Sunday in a shooting at a home in Inman, South Carolina. Two police officers were fatally shot in Connecticut on Wednesday night after they were apparently lured into an ambush by an emergency call about possible domestic abuse.
It followed shootings of police officers this week in Greenville, Mississippi; Decatur, Ill.; Philadelphia, Las Vegas and Central Florida. Two of those officers, one in Greenville and one in Las Vegas, were killed.
Thursday’s violence was the 25th massacre in 2022 in which victims were shot and killed, according to the Associated Press/USA TODAY/Northeastern University Mass Killings database. A mass murder is defined as when four or more people are killed excluding the perpetrator.
Dazio reported from Los Angeles. Associated Press writers Michael Kunzelman in Silver Spring, Maryland and Gary D. Robertson in Raleigh contributed to this report.
Hannah Schoenbaum and Stefanie Dazio, Associated Press