What we know about the Raleigh shooting victims

RALEIGH, NC (AP) – An avid runner and mother of three boys. A woman who was the “rock” of her family and knew everyone in the neighborhood. A Navy veteran whose wedding was in two weeks.

These were among the victims of Thursday’s shooting in the North Carolina capital, Raleigh, that claimed five lives and wounded two others.

A 15-year-old boy opened fire, killing a total of five people in the city’s Hedingham neighborhood and along the nearby Neuse River Greenway, police said. One of those killed was an off-duty Raleigh police officer on his way to work. The second person killed was a 16-year-old.

A woman and another Raleigh police officer were also wounded.

Among the dead are:


Connors, 52, was the matriarch of her extended family, the one who “got things done,” her husband, Tracey Howard, told The Associated Press.

When her father died, she was the one who went to the Department of Veterans Affairs to make things right — using “choice words” — to make sure he was buried in a veterans cemetery, Howard said. She also quit her HR job to care for her mother after she had a stroke.

“Anything that had to be done, she would do it,” Howard said. “And she’s going to make sure it’s done right.”

Connors and her husband loved getting out of the house and exploring Raleigh’s restaurant scene. They had tickets to the next Black Panther movie, coming out in November, and they planned to go to the North Carolina State Fair.

Late Thursday afternoon, Howard left the house to get food for lunch – he works the third shift – and to buy a light bulb for the porch. Connors took a friend to Red Lobster to celebrate her friend’s birthday before returning home.

“She couldn’t have been home more than five or 10 minutes before this happened,” Howard said.

Connors and a neighbor, who was listed as wounded, were killed, Howard said.

“Her friend was more or less by the driveway like she was headed home or on her way home and my wife was on the porch,” Howard said.

Howard is left to wonder what motivated the shooting.

“It’s just senseless murder,” he said. “People are outside enjoying the weather, talking. Next thing you know they’re gone. That’s just stupid. It’s meaningless.”

Connors’ neighbors say she was always friendly while walking her Jack Russell terrier, Sami.

Marvin Judd said Connors was a “sweet person” with a “good heart.”

“And she was always kind and gentle to everyone she met,” Judd said. “She didn’t meet strangers. Everyone was her friend.”


Her husband, Tom Karnatz, told the AP that she “was a loving wife and an incredible mother to our three sons. We are absolutely heartbroken and miss her dearly.”

Karnatz, 49, was an avid runner who frequented the greenway where some of the shootings took place. Two cars parked in the driveway had 26.2 stickers marking the marathon mileage. The van’s license plate says “RUNNR”.

Tom Karnatz wrote in a Facebook post that he and his wife had big and small plans together.

“We had plans for great adventures together,” he wrote. “And shared plans for everyday days in between. We had plans together with the boys. And we had plans together as empty nesters. We had plans to grow old together. … Now those plans are ruined.”

Karnatz completed the Boston Marathon four times, according to the obituary. She was a school psychologist before she stopped homeschooling her three sons, which “brought her joy, purpose and fulfillment.”

“She was funny, often tickled with quirky humor, and if she got going, she would laugh until she cried,” the obituary reads. ”She listened without judgment, gave wise counsel when asked, and offered kind words and gentle reassurance to those around her. Her absence runs deep in the hearts of friends and family.”


Marshall, 34, was killed while walking her dog Scruff and was planning to get married on Oct. 29, her sister told NBC News.

“Her fiance Rob, he was just the love of her life,” Meagan McCrickard told NBC. “I think we’ll still do a celebration of life, that’s the plan, for the wedding date.”

“She has a friend from Japan, someone from Florida, from Texas,” McCrickard said. “As excited as she was to get married, I know she was more excited to have all the people she loved most in the same place at the same time.”

When the shooting started, Marshall was walking Scruff on the Neuse River Greenway, her sister told NBC.

“She called her fiance Rob and said, ‘I’m walking the dog, I hear these gunshots, can you come home?’ And that was the last conversation they had,” McCrickard said.

In another interview with NBC, Marshall’s fiance recalled what she said over the phone: “You need to come home right now — right now. Scruff (our dog) slipped his collar and I just heard gunshots.”

Marshall went after Scruff. Robert Steele rushed home. When he got there, there was a detective outside.

“He started asking about the tattoos that Mary has,” Steele said through tears, holding the wedding band he planned to give her. “We knew she was gone.”

Marshall’s stepmother, Donna Marshall, told the Raleigh News & Observer that Mary Marshall served in the Navy and attended culinary school before returning to the Raleigh area three years ago.

“She loved going to the beach and was an absolute Disney World fanatic,” Donna Marshall told the newspaper.

Scruff actually chose Marshall as her owner when he sat on her lap at the animal shelter, her stepmother said.

“It’s going to be extremely difficult for her mom and dad, her sister and her close family,” Donna Marshall said. “It’s just going to be horrible.”


Torres, 29, was on his way to work when he was fatally shot in the Hedingham neighborhood, police said. Raleigh Police Chief Estella D. Patterson said Torres was not in uniform or in his patrol car at the time of the shooting, according to the News & Observer.

Torres left behind a wife and a child, the chief said. Torres had been on the job for 18 months. Before that, he served as a US Marine at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville.

“We ask that you all pray and keep Officer Torres and the other victims of this senseless act of evil in your thoughts,” the police advocacy group Raleigh Police Protective Association posted on Facebook.

Back the Blue NC, a nonprofit organization that advocates for law enforcement officers, has started a GoFundMe fundraiser for Torres’ family. It had raised $88,000 as of Monday morning.


Thompson, 16, was a junior at Knightdale High School in Raleigh, according to a statement from Principal Keith Richardson.

“It’s an unexpected loss and we’re saddened by it,” Richardson said. “Our condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to James’ family, the other victims, their families and all those affected.”

The school board president and superintendent of the Wake County Public School System issued a statement saying they were “shocked, saddened and heartbroken.”

“Our hearts go out to the loved ones of the victims, and our community continues to seek answers about this tragedy and solutions to prevent such unspeakable events in the future,” the statement said.


Finley reported from Norfolk, Virginia.


Associated Press researcher Rhonda Shafner contributed to this report.

The Latest

To Top