In Raleigh, North Carolina, couple has identified their son, Austin Thompson, as the 15-year-old gunman behind last week’s devastating mass shooting, that left five people — including the shooter’s older brother — dead and two others wounded.
Alan and Elise Thompson released their first public statement on Tuesday, just days after their son allegedly opened fire on a suburban street and along a nearby greenway on Thursday.
“Words cannot begin to describe our anguish and sorrow,” the parents wrote, according to The Associated Press. “Our son Austin inflicted immeasurable pain on the Raleigh community, and we are overcome with grievance for the innocent lives lost.”
They added: “We pray for the families and loved ones of Nicole Conners, Susan Karnatz, Mary Marshall, and Raleigh Police Officer Gabriel Torres. We mourn for their loss and for the loss of our son, James.”
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Details of any motive behind Thursday’s attack have not yet been released. The Thompsons, who are grieving their own losses, wrote on Tuesday that they, too, “have so many unanswered questions.”
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“There were never any indications or warning signs that Austin was capable of doing anything like this,” they wrote. “Our family will continue to cooperate fully with law enforcement officials and do whatever we can to help them understand why and how this happened.”
They added that they were praying for the surviving victims, Marcille “Lynn” Gardner and Raleigh Police Officer Casey Clark, and “everyone who was traumatized by these senseless acts of violence.”
Austin remains hospitalized and in critical condition, The Associated Press reported.
The teen gunman opened fire near the Neuse River Greenway area in Raleigh just after 5 pm Thursday, officials previously said. He was taken into custody about three hours later after he was allegedly “contained” inside a nearby home. The crime scene spanned “over two miles,” Raleigh Police Chief Estella D. Patterson said Friday.
Patterson identified the deceased off-duty police officer as 29-year-old Gabriel Torres, who was on his way to work at the time. She said other victims include 16-year-old Thompson, 52-year-old Conners, 49-year-old Karnatz and 35-year-old Marshall.
Property records show at least two of the deceased victims, including the fallen officer, lived on Osprey Cove Drive, where a portion of the shooting occurred.
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Two more victims, Gardner and Clark, were wounded but survived. Gardner, who was shot just days before her 60th birthday, was critically injured. The alleged killer was also critically injured.
“The shootings occurred in the streets in the neighborhood, and then the suspect fled towards the greenway. And then we had some more victims who were shot in the greenway,” Patterson said.
The Wake County Public School System confirmed to Fox News Digital on Friday that James Thompson was in the 11th grade and Austin Thompson was in the 10th grade at Knightdale High School.
Wake County Public School System officials released a statement that same day, writing: “Five lives were taken in a senseless act of violence in northeastern Raleigh near the Neuse River Greenway, including one of our own students. Two others were injured. The shooter was taken into custody with life-threatening injuries.”
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“Like you, we are shocked, saddened and broken-hearted,” the statement continued. “Our hearts go out to the victims’ loved ones, and our community continues to seek answers around this tragedy and solutions to prevent such unspeakable events in the future.”
Police are asking anyone with information related to the shooting to call 919-996-1193.
The Thompson family remembered their son as having enjoyed “deep sea fishing, playing Upward Basketball and various games on his PS4. He enjoyed visits to his grandmother’s house, amusement parks, sporting events and trips to the beach and mountains.”
The family has scheduled a “celebration of life” at 7 pm on Thursday at the Trinity Baptist Church in Raleigh.