North Carolina reacts to Raleigh mass shooting


On Thursday, Oct, 13, a teenager opened fire in a residential neighborhood in eastern Raleigh, killing five people, and injuring two more. 

The shooting began at 5:13 pm when the shooter killed his brother, 16-year-old James Thompson, and then went outside to fire at others in the neighborhood. 

During the course of his shooting, he killed a neighbor on her porch, Nicole Connors, 52, and another near his car preparing to go to work, Gabriel Torres, 29.

Mary Marshall, 34, was attempting to rescue her dog who escaped his leash and was running when the shooter shot her. 

Susan Karnatz, 49, was killed running on the Neuse River Greenway while completing a seven-mile run.

The suspect was contained by police at around 8:00 p.m., and after a standoff, he was detained at 9:37 pm. The suspect shot two other people, Joseph Clark, 33, who sustained non-life threatening injuries, and Marcille Gardner, 59, who remains in critical condition, before being detained.

The suspect received gunshot wounds including a self-inflicted one to the head that put him in critical condition during the standoff.

Raleigh Mayor, Mary-Ann Baldwin expressed her sorrow for the victims and their families in a press conference.

“We need to support those in our community who have suffered a terrible loss,” said Baldwin in a press conference on Oct. 13.

North Carolina Governor, Roy Cooper also expressed his deep sorrow for the victims and their families.

“Let’s all pray for the victims, their families, the communities that have been shocked by this,” Cooper said in a separate press conference on Oct. 13.

While families and communities grieve the loss, many, including Baldwin, call for action to try to prevent another incident like this from happening in the future.

“We have to wake up,” Baldwin said at the press conference. “I don’t want other mayors standing here, at the podium, with hearts breaking because people die needlessly and tragically,” she continued. 

Many Raleigh natives expressed their desire for a notification when shootings occur. 

“Has [North Carolina House member Greg Murphy] explained why he voted against the Active Shooter Alert Act?,” Twitter user Jack Burton (@kelly4nc) tweeted on Oct. 15. “There was no alert for the people near the mass shooting in Raleigh this week,” they continued.

The Active Shooter Alert Act, which uses the amber alert system to warn residents of a mass shooter, has passed the North Carolina House but has yet to pass the North Carolina Senate. 

Given the age of the suspect, many point to safe storage regulations to be a potential solution. 

“We need stronger safe storage laws with stronger penalties, ESPECIALLY if your kid uses your gun to kill people,” Twitter user SuperUltraNuclear MAGA-Mothers Against Greg Abbott (@mamaria33) tweeted on Oct. 15.

These laws, known as child access prevention or CAP laws, seek to limit the access that unattended minors have to firearms. These regulations vary in severity, but in their simplest form, they require any firearms to be stored in such a way that a child could not reasonably gain access. 

Opponents cite the increased time to access a firearm in an emergency which may decrease its effectiveness.

Whether or not calls for legislation come to fruition, the shooting remains a tragedy, and the families and communities affected will continue to grieve this heartbreaking loss.

“We as a community need to come together and be there for those who need us now,” Baldwin said.