RALEIGH, NC — Five people were killed by a gunman who opened fire Thursday along a hiking trail in the North Carolina capital, escaping officers for hours before being cornered in a home and arrested, police said.
An off-duty police officer was among those killed by the suspect, who police say is a 15-year-old boy. He was arrested around 9:37 p.m., authorities said. His identity was not released.
The gunfire broke out around 5 p.m. along the Neuse River Greenway in a residential area northeast of downtown, Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin said. Officers from numerous law enforcement agencies swarmed the area, closing roads and warning residents to stay indoors as they searched for the gunman.
Two people, including another police officer, were taken to hospital. The officer was later released, but the other survivor remained in critical condition.
“Terror has reached our door tonight. The nightmare of every community has come to Raleigh. This is a senseless, horrific and furious act of violence that has been committed,” Governor Roy Cooper told reporters.
Authorities gave no details about a motive, but Baldwin joined Cooper in decrying the violence.
“We need to stop this mindless violence in America, we need to tackle gun violence,” the mayor said. “We have much to do and tonight we have much to mourn.”
The Raleigh shooting was the latest in a violent week across the country. Five people were killed in a shooting at a home in Inman, South Carolina on Sunday. Two Connecticut police officers were shot and killed on Wednesday night after they were apparently ambushed by an emergency call about possible domestic violence. Police officers were shot in Greenville, Mississippi this week; Decatur, Illinois; Philadelphia, Las Vegas and central Florida. Two of those officers, one in Greenville and one in Las Vegas, were killed.
WATCH: Law enforcement officers set up a rally to search for suspect.
Thursday’s violence was the 25th mass murder in 2022 in which the victims were fatally shot, according to The Associated Press/USA TODAY/Northeastern University Mass Killings database. A mass murder is defined as when four or more people are killed, not counting the perpetrator.
Brooke Medina, who lives nearby on the Greenway, was driving home around 5:15 p.m. when she saw about twenty police cars, both marked and unmarked, racing toward the residential area about 15 miles from downtown Raleigh. Then she saw ambulances driving the other way, toward the nearest hospital.
WATCH: Hedingham resident talks confusion as officers flooded the scene
She and her husband, who worked from home with their four children, began reaching out to neighbors and realized there was a shelter order.
The family closed all their blinds, locked the doors and gathered in an upstairs hallway, said Medina, who works as the vice president of communications at a think tank. The family listened to the police scanner and watched the local news before heading back downstairs when the danger appeared to be further from their home.
“We’re going to crouch down for the rest of the night and be very vigilant. Keep all our lights on, doors locked,” she said.
She described the neighborhood known as Hedingham as a sprawling, dense, tree-lined community filled with single-family, duplexes, and townhomes that are more reasonably priced compared to other parts of the Raleigh area.
Allison Greenawalt, 29, who also lives in the area, said she was sitting on the couch with her cat around 5 p.m. when she heard “three shots in a pretty quick succession.” She said the police arrived quickly and she is grateful they were there during the chaotic hours as she took shelter inside. Her husband, meanwhile, tried to drive home from work after the shooting and was turned away by police who had closed nearby streets, and did not return home until around 10:30 p.m., she said.
“I spent most of the evening sitting in our house with the lights off and the windows closed, waiting to be told that” the gunman had been arrested, she said.
Dazio reported from Los Angeles. Associated Press writers Michael Kunzelman in Silver Spring, Maryland and Gary D. Robertson and Allen G. Breed in Raleigh contributed to this report.
ABC News contributed to this report.
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