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Parents of teen gunman express ‘anguish and sorrow’ after mass shooting in North Carolina

The parents of a 15-year-old boy accused of shooting five people, including his teen brother and a police officer, in North Carolina said there were never any warning signs to suggest their son was capable of carrying out such carnage.

“Words cannot begin to describe our anguish and sorrow,” Alan and Elise Thompson said in a statement released through their attorneys Tuesday night. “Our son Austin inflicted immeasurable pain on the Raleigh community, and we are overcome with grief for the innocent lives lost.”

The Thompsons added that they are cooperating with law enforcement investigating the deadly shooting, which unfolded around 5 p.m. on Thursday in Hedingham, a neighborhood northeast of downtown Raleigh. Police said the teen opened fire with what appeared to be a shotgun, fatally striking two people, before fleeing toward the the Neuse River Greenway, where he opened fire for a second time.

Seven people were shot, five of them fatally. The victims were identified on Friday as 29-year-old Gabriel Torres, an off-duty police officer on his way to work, Nicole Conners, 53, Susan Karnatz, 49, Mary Marshall, 35, and James Thompson, the accused gunman’s 16-year-old brother.

A second police officer, Casey Clark, was also wounded, but has since been released from the hospital. The seventh victim, Marcille Lynn Gardner, 59, remains in critical condition.

Alan and Elise said they feel the pain of all those impacted by the violence and continue to mourn “the loss of our son, James.”

A woman stands before a photo of Raleigh shooting victim Susan Karnatz at a makeshift memorial at the Hedingham neighborhood.

“We pray that Marcille ‘Lynn’ Gardner and Raleigh Police Officer Casey Clark fully recover from their injuries, and we pray for everyone who was traumatized by these senseless acts of violence,” they continued.

“We have so many unanswered questions. There were never any indications or warning signs that Austin was capable of doing anything like this.”

Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman previously said that she plans to prosecute the teen as an adult should he recover from his injuries.

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