A teenage shooter has shot and killed five people including an off-duty police officer in Raleigh, North Carolina, triggering a massive manhunt for hours before it resulted in the arrest of the juvenile suspect.
The camouflaged gunman, ‘aged between 13 and 16’, was armed with a long gun and barricaded himself in a barn during an hours-long standoff with armed police after firing multiple shots on the Neuse River Greenway.
Police, who went door to door trying to find the killer, said the suspect unleashed the terror along a walking trail in North Carolina’s capital city on Thursday October 14, and eluded officers for hours before he was cornered.
The motive for the mass shooting remains unclear and the identities of the suspect and the victims have not been revealed. A police conference is scheduled for 8.30am today local time.
Two others were injured in the bloodbath which started at 5pm, including a canine officer who has since been released from the hospital, and another who remains in a critical condition.
Eyewitnesses told WRAL that they saw the gunman dressed in camouflage clothing with a backpack and black boots, crouching down, and said he was ‘aged between 13 and 16’.
One said: ‘He looked like a baby. I just don’t even have the words to explain. This is not OK.’
Raleigh police said at 9.40pm that the ‘white male juvenile’ was in custody following confusion after saying the suspect had been ‘contained’.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said: ‘Tonight, terror has reached our doorstep. The nightmare of every community has come to Raleigh.’
A local resident named Robert said: ‘I heard two gunshots, and they were really loud so I knew something was close by, and then I heard three other gunshots.
‘I saw him basically pass my house in the backyard. He had a long-barrel shotgun. He was dressed in camo. He had a full backpack on that was also camouflage.’
The quiet neighborhood is populated with single-family homes and golf courses.
Mary-Ann Baldwin, the mayor of Raleigh, said the suspect was ‘contained’, but police would not say whether they could communicate with him and his condition is not clear.
WRAL was broadcasting footage of the scene, showing the off-duty police officer’s car riddled with bullets.
Baldwin said it was ‘a sad and tragic day for the city of Raleigh’.
The mayor, visibly shaken, continued: ‘It’s a tragic day, because Raleigh police has lost one of its own.’
She said that more must be done to combat gun violence.
‘We must stop this mindless violence in America. We must address gun violence. We have much to do, and tonight we have much to mourn.’
Roy Cooper, the governor of North Carolina, praised law enforcement for their bravery, adding: ‘This is a senseless, infuriating and horrific act of violence that has been carried out against our community.’