Timeline of events in the fatal mass shooting in Raleigh NC

Days after a 15-year-old went on a deadly shooting spree in the Hedingham neighborhood near Raleigh’s Neuse River Greenway, scanner traffic, 911 calls and other records are providing more details about the hours that followed.

Five people were killed in Thursday’s shooting and two were wounded. The suspected shooter remained in critical condition at WakeMed as of Tuesday, according to Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson.

The Raleigh Police Department is expected to release a “five-day report” outlining the preliminary results of the investigation Thursday, a week after the shooting.

Here’s the timeline of Thursday’s shoot and its consequences that we know so far.

Editor’s note: This is a developing story and will be updated.


17:12 A 911 caller on Sahalee Way reported hearing gunshots outside. She told the dispatcher she saw two victims down near the corner of Sahalea and Castle Pines Drive.

Another 911 call seconds later from the 6000 block of Osprey Cove Drive reported that the suspect “walked by with a shotgun and shot my buddy,” who the caller reveals is an off-duty Raleigh police officer. The caller says the killer, who “he looked like he was 16,” wore camouflage and fled to the Neuse River Trail.

Both locations are in the Hedingham subdivision in Northeast Raleigh with homes bordering the Neuse River Greenway Trail.

17:18 On the phone with a 911 dispatcher, a security guard on Osprey Cove Drive notes that she is with an off-duty officer who was shot in the chest. First aid arrives while she is on the line.

17:21 A 911 caller riding a bicycle on the Neuse River Greenway reports two women injured and on the ground along the trail near Bay Harbor Drive.

17:49 Audio from law enforcement and emergency radios indicates officers are looking for a “6-foot white male. 15 years old. Camo with long gun.”

17:55 On TwitterRaleigh Police Department says he’s at the scene of an active shooting neighborhood and is advising residents near Osprey Cove Drive and Bay Harbor Drive to stay inside their homes.

18:12 A traffic scanner reports that someone saw a suspect in camouflage with a backpack at Tarheel Club Road and Tarheel Clubhouse Road, about a mile northeast of the Hedingham neighborhood, running into the woods.

18:37 Officers indicated via scanner that the suspect was last seen “northwest of Old Milburnie, south of McGee Court, last seen going into the woods north of the Tarheel Club.”

18:43 A 911 caller in Foxcroft, north of Hedingham, reports hearing a gunshot in the direction of the Neuse River.

Due to scanner traffic, police also report hearing one gunshot in the area.

18:44 Police report listening to the traffic scanner “shots in the woods.”

“Multiple or single?” asked another.

“Shit. More,” he replied.

18:45 Scanner traffic reports an “officer down” in the area around McConnell Oliver Drive, near the suspect’s last known location. In the minutes that follow, responders say the officer suffered a gunshot wound to the kneecap and is stabilized.

18:49 Raleigh Police issued an alert for the area on Twitter, telling people in the area of ​​McConnell Oliver Drive, Tarheel Club Road and Old Milburnie Road to remain indoors. Motorists are advised to avoid the area and seek alternative routes.

18:54 Governor Roy Cooper tweets that he spoke with Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin and “directed state law enforcement to assist in responding to the active shooter in East Raleigh.”

19:01 Officers are strategizing about using an aerial drone to track a suspect in a barn off McConnell Oliver Drive over scanner traffic.

19:17 In a 911 call with a concerned resident, the dispatcher notes that they “have a visual of this guy right now.” “Now they are not looking for him. They are completely on it.”

19:18 Through scanner traffic, police observing the subject notice that he is sitting with a gun in his lap. “We haven’t had any movement yet.” They decide to move in with a drone, which they can get within 15 feet of the suspect.

19:22 Officers report that the suspect is bent over in a “crouched position” but is still moving. After the drone they are using crashes, they discuss bringing a robot bomb to their location.

19:29 Officers advise over the radio to take cover as the suspect tries to “raise the shotgun”.

19:40 The responder recorded on the scanner that they found a 16-year-old male “downstairs” in the bathroom of a residence on Sahalee Way.

20:18 Officers say over the scanner that they still have a suspect, but they won’t make any progress without additional equipment.

21:04 At a news conference, Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin reports that five people have been killed, including an off-duty Raleigh police officer. She said two others were taken to WakeMed, including another officer with non-life threatening injuries.

21:07 Officers report on scanner traffic that the suspect is “still moving” and that they are attempting to retrieve a firearm near him.

21:11 Because of scanner traffic, officers say they plan to keep one robot between the suspect and the firearm while using the other to grab the weapon.

21:22 The police warned the officers over the radio to be careful because “we have a firearm in his hand.”

21:24 Officers report on scanner traffic that “the rifle is still on the ground. He tries to pull the trigger and nothing happens.”

21:31 Officers warn each other to use the “40mm”, a device that can be used to launch so-called “less lethal” rounds, at the suspect and to expect a “muffled impact”. They shoot three times before they get an answer. “Now he’s moved his hands behind his head.”

21:32 Officers use a robot to try to get the suspect out of the backpack.

21:37 In a post on Twitter, Raleigh Police says the suspect is in custody.

21:43 An emergency worker alerts WakeMed that they have a 15-year-old male with an open head wound. “But he’s protecting his airway and breathing at this point. I have minimal other wounds”, says one of the interviewees over the radio.

10:51 p.m U press conference, Raleigh Police Lt. Jason Borneo says the suspect in the shooting is a “white juvenile” and that the officer who was shot has already been released from the hospital. Borneo declined to specify any dubious motives. The police say so too Chief Estella Patterson Patterson is currently on a flight back to Raleigh after attending a professional conference.


7 in the morning Raleigh police appear to be searching a home on Sahalee Way in the Hedingham neighborhood.

8:40 am Baldwin and other city officials named the five killed.

8:55 am Raleigh Police Protective Association says he’s working on setting up a fundraiser for the family of police officer Gabriel Torres.

10:39 am Governor Roy Cooper announces that the flags will fly at half-stick‘ in honor of the victims of the shooting.

12:53 pm President Joe Biden issues a statement about the shooting. “We have grieved and prayed with too many families who have had to bear the terrible burden of these mass shootings. Too many families have spouses, parents and children taken away forever.” Biden urges Congress to pass assault weapons ban. Raleigh police have not said what type of weapon was used in the shooting.

14 hours Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman tells the News & Observer that he plans to seek adult charges against the shooting suspect.

14:15 Sources confirm to The News & Observer that the suspect in the shooting is 15-year-old Austin Thompson, the brother of James Thompson, 16, one of the five people killed. A Knightdale High School sophomore Austin Thompson is in critical condition at WakeMed.


10:30 am Raleigh city officials to announce that the Neuse River Greenway between Buffaloe Road and Anderson Point Park has reopened.


13:00 Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson briefs the City Council, revealing that the State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the officers who fired their weapons during the incident. She also says the suspect remains in critical condition.

17:02 Attorneys for Alan and Elise Thompson, parents of James and Austin, publish a statement saying “there was never any indication or warning sign that their son was capable of doing something like this.” They also pledged to cooperate with law enforcement authorities.

Related stories from the Raleigh News & Observer

Profile picture of Tyler Dukes

Tyler Dukes is an investigative reporter for The News & Observer who specializes in data and public records. In 2017, he completed a fellowship at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. Before joining N&O, he worked as an investigative reporter at WRAL News in Raleigh. He graduated from North Carolina State University and grew up in Elizabeth City.

Colleen Hammond is a recent graduate of Duquesne University in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She previously covered breaking news, local government, the COVID-19 pandemic and racial issues for the Pittsburgh City Paper and the Pittsburgh Tribune Review.

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