Raleigh NC shooting suspect’s parents release statement

The family of Austin Thompson, who is suspected of shooting seven people in Raleigh, five fatally, said there are “so many unanswered questions” about the shooting.

The family released the statement Tuesday, six days after the shooting that also killed their son, 16-year-old James Thompson.

A statement from Alan and Elise Thompson reads:

“Our son Austin has caused immeasurable pain to the Raleigh community, and we are overwhelmed with grief for the innocent lives lost.

“We are praying for the families and loved ones of Nicole Connors, Susan Karnatz, Mary Marshall and Raleigh Police Officer Gabriel Torres. We mourn their loss and the loss of our son James.

“We pray for Marcille ‘Lynn’ Gardner and Raleigh Police Officer Casey Clark to make a full recovery from their injuries, and we pray for everyone traumatized by these senseless acts of violence.

“We have so many unanswered questions. There was never any indication or warning sign that Austin was capable of doing anything like this. Our family will continue to cooperate fully with law enforcement officials and will do everything we can to help them understand why and how this happened.”

Austin Thompson is a sophomore at Knightdale High School. James Thompson was a junior.

As the shooting unfolded in the Hedingham neighborhood on Oct. 13, law enforcement from multiple agencies participated in a massive manhunt for the suspect. He was “stopped” at 8 p.m. and then detained until 9:37 p.m., police said.

He has been in critical condition at WakeMed Hospital since then. Police did not say how he was injured or the nature of the injuries.

Raleigh police have not released details about the shooting that drew national attention. A five-day report from the city is expected to be released Thursday with information on the shooting, police response and other details.

Radio traffic collected by The News & Observer describes some of the activity surrounding the seizure in an area near McConnell Oliver Drive — about a mile northeast of the neighborhood.

Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman told the News & Observer that she plans to charge Thompson as an adult.

Clark, who was wounded during the capture, was wounded and released from the hospital. Gardner remains hospitalized.

This story was originally published October 18, 2022 6:52 p.m.

Stay tuned for more of our coverage of the Raleigh shooting in Hedingham

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Aaron Sánchez-Guerra is a breaking news reporter for The News & Observer and previously covered business and real estate for the newspaper. His experience includes reporting for WLRN Public Media in Miami and as a freelance journalist in Raleigh and Charlotte covering Latino communities. A graduate of North Carolina State University, he is a native speaker of Spanish and was born in Mexico. You can follow his work on Twitter at @aaronsguerra.

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