‘No one should feel this fear’: Biden, N.C. leaders express shock, outrage over Raleigh mass shooting
One of the victims was a 29-year-old off-duty police officer.
RALEIGH, N.C. (WBTV) – Condolences from law enforcement and politicians poured in Thursday night and into Friday for the residents of Raleigh and its police department after Thursday’s shooting near a popular greenway left five dead and two injured.
President Joe Biden said he and First Lady Jill Biden are grieving with the families of the victims who were killed or wounded, “in yet another mass shooting in America.”
“Enough. We’ve grieved and prayed with too many families who have had to bear the terrible burden of these mass shootings,” Biden said in a statement. “Too many families have had spouses, parents, and children taken from them forever.”
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper tweeted that flags are at half-staff for the victims, which includes an off-duty police officer and a 16-year-old boy.
“No neighborhood, no parent, no child, no one should feel this fear in their communities,” Cooper said. “We’re standing with the victims and their families in this moment of unspeakable agony.”
During a Friday morning press conference, authorities said the suspect - a 15-year-old boy - was in critical condition. The circumstances that led up to the shooting and a possible relationship between the suspect and the victims were not immediately known.
“I’m so sorry that Raleigh and its residents are going through what has become the greatest fear for a city,” Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles said.
Cheri Beasley, the Democratic candidate running for U.S. Senate, said she was devastated by the “senseless violence” that happened in Raleigh.
“As we grapple with this all-too-familiar tragedy reaching our own community, I stand resolved to do my part to prevent this avoidable violence in other communities,” Beasley said in a statement.
N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein offered his gratitude and prayers Thursday night to the law enforcement officers who responded to the shooting.
Sen. Thom Tillis also offered prayers for the shooting victims and expressed his gratitude for the law enforcement officers and first responders who worked to “keep people safe and bring the perpetrator to justice.”
One of the victims in Thursday’s shooting was 29-year-old Gabriel Torres, an officer with the Raleigh Police Department who was on his way to work when the shots rang out.
Authorities from across the state posted condolences on their departments’ social media pages, with many including a photo of the Raleigh Police badge with a black rectangle through the center.
“We send our condolences to the men and women of the Raleigh Police Department, their families, and all of the victims’ loved ones,” a post from the Albemarle Police Department stated.
Gaston County Police are asking that people continue to keep the Raleigh Police Department, as well as the community, in their thoughts.
In addition to mourning the victims, the Gastonia Police Department said its officers continue to pray for a speedy recovery for a Raleigh Police K-9 officer and another resident who was wounded in the shooting.
“We certainly grieve with the Raleigh Police Department as well as the entire Raleigh community they lost not only a police officer but they lost four community members,” Rick Goodale with the Gastonia Police Department said. “No matter when a tragedy like this occurs and there’s a loss of life of a police officer, no matter if it’s in North Carolina or across the country, police departments and police officers feel it everywhere.”
Waxhaw Police said their hearts are heavy, “for the loss of our brethren in Raleigh.”
The Hickory Police Department also took to social media to offer its sympathies to the Raleigh Police Department family and the families of all the victims.
Copyright 2022 WBTV. All rights reserved.