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Raleigh police share timeline, new details in suspect Austin Thompson’s mass shooting

The 15-year-old Raleigh mass shooting suspect allegedly killed his brother first before embarking on a bloody rampage last week that left four others dead, a new report reveals.

The timeline detailing the carnage was included in a preliminary report filed Thursday by Raleigh Chief of Police Estella Patterson that also said suspect Austin Thompson remains in critical condition after suffering an apparent gunshot wound in last Thursday’s mayhem.

Though police did not refer to Thompson by name in the 4-page memo, he was identified by media outlets and by his own parents.

The teen allegedly killed five people, one dog and injured two others before barricading himself inside a residential building.

Among the dead were off-duty police officer Gabriel Torres, 29, and Thompson’s own brother, 16-year-old James Thompson. Nicole Conners, 52, and her dog Sammy, Mary Marshall, 35, and Susan Karnatz, 49, were also killed in the violence.

According to the report, James Thompson was the first shooting victim. He was found dead in his home with apparent gunshot and stab wounds.

This photo provided by the Raleigh Police Department shows Officer Gabriel Torres
Raleigh Police Officer Gabriel Torres was killed in his car before heading to work.
Victim Nicole Conners
Nicole Conners and her dog Sammy were fatally shot in the street.

After leaving his home, Austin Thompson allegedly took fire to the streets, aiming at two women in the neighborhood. Conners and her dog Sammy died at the scene, while another woman was taken to the hospital, where she remains in critical condition.

Austin Thompson, dressed in camouflage and carrying a shotgun, continued on foot moving northeast, where he encountered Torres in his car about to leave for work, the report says. The teen allegedly shot the plainclothed cop “for no reason,” witnesses said. A bystander took a photograph of the shooter, which was then circulated among police.

The 15-year-old suspect then allegedly killed bride-to-be Mary Marshall, who was walking her dog, and mother-of-three Susan Karnatz, who was on a run, on the Neuse River Greenway Trail.

Susan Karnatz
Susan Karnatz was out for a jog when she was shot to death.
Facebook / Tom Karnatz
Mary Marshall
Mary Marshall was shot along the greenway where she had been walking her dog.
Facebook / Mary Marshall

By 6:42 p.m., about two hours since the shootings began, police determined Austin Thompson was hiding inside a “barn-like structure” in the neighborhood. When officers arrived, Thompson began firing, striking one of the department’s K-9 officers.

“Police returned fire,” the report states. “Preliminary results indicate that approximately 23
rounds were fired by RPD officers. Those rounds were fired in the direction of the
outbuilding where the suspect fired upon officers.”

Three hours later, officers advanced into the building enough to find Thompson suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. He was found with a handgun in his waistband, a large knife clipped to his belt and carrying a backpack filled with several types of shotgun ammunition, police said.

A large hunting knife was found outside the building and a shotgun and shotgun shells were lying on the ground near him.

Law enforcement officers congregate outside an armored vehicle at the Aldi on New Bern Avenue in Raleigh.
Thompson sustained on gunshot wound after exchanging fire with police, the report says.
Pathway of Austin Thompson.
Thompson was discovered with a handgun, shotgun, knives and ammunition.
Raleigh Police Department

The report didn’t indicate how Austin Thompson was wounded. His motive is still unknown.

“Based on information currently available, there does not appear to be any connection between the victims that were shot by the suspect prior to his encounter with the police other than they lived in the same neighborhood,” the report states.

Austin Thompson is expected to be tried as an adult for the mass shooting “assuming he recovers,” Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said last week.

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