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Hero Down: Raleigh PD Officer Gabriel Torres Murdered In Mass Shooting While On His Way To Work

By Holly Matkin and Sandy Malone

Raleigh, NC – Raleigh Police Department (RPD) Officer Gabriel Torres was murdered in a mass shooting while on his way to work on Thursday night, according to police.

Five people were killed and two victims were injured during the attack.

Police said the 15-year-old suspect’s shooting spree began at about 5 p.m. on Oct. 13 in the Hedingham neighborhood near Osprey Cove Drive and Bay Harbor Drive, WTVD reported.

Sources close to the investigation said the teen gunman was wearing camouflage and carried a camouflage backpack, CNN reported.

Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson told reporters on Friday that the suspect shot two people there and then ran toward the Neuse River Greenway Trail, a popular walking area.

When he reached the trail, the 15-year-old gunman opened fire again and shot five more people, according to Chief Patterson.

Three of those gunshot victims died, WTVD reported.

Witnesses have said the teen gunman had a long gun, but police officials have not yet confirmed what kind of weapon the killer was using.

Police have said both a long gun and a handgun were recovered at the scene, CNN reported.

The suspect remained at large for hours after his shooting spree and police announced an “active shooter situation” and asked residents to stay inside their homes, WTVD reported.

Police “contained” the suspect inside a residence at about 8 p.m. and then he was apprehended by authorities shortly after 9:30 p.m. on Thursday night near the intersection of Old Milburnie Road and McConnel Oliver Drive, CNN reported.

The shooter was critically wounded during the long standoff, CNN reported.

He was transported to Wake Med in critical condition with life-threatening injuries, WTVD reported.

Officials have not yet said whether the suspect’s injuries were self-inflicted or if he was hurt when officers took him into custody.

Chief Patterson has not released the identity of the juvenile mass killer, WTVD reported.

The police chief confirmed Officer Torres, 29, was one of the victims killed in the mass shooting, according to CNN.

He was on his way to work when he was murdered, but he was no in uniform or his patrol vehicle at the time, The News & Observer reported.

Authorities identified the other victims who were fatally shot as 52-year-old Nicole Conners, 49-year-old Susan Karnatz, 35-year-old Mary Marshal, and 16-year-old James Roger Thompson.

RPD Senior Police Officer Casey Joseph Clark, 33, was among those wounded in the attack, WNCN reported.

Officer Clark was treated at a local hospital and has since been released to continue his recovery at home.

Another victim, 59-year-old Marcille Gardner, remained hospitalized in critical condition on Friday, WNCN reported.

“We’re standing with you in this moment of unspeakable agony,” North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said during a press conference on Friday, according to the New York Post. “No one should feel this fear in their communities. No one. As policymakers, we cannot, and we will not, turn away from what has happened here.”

Chief Patterson said the horrific shooting “is an extremely, extremely painful event for our officers and me,” WTVD reported.

Officer Torres served as a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps prior to joining the RPD 18 months ago, according to The News & Observer.

He leaves behind his wife and his young child, Chief Patterson said.

A fundraising page established to help Officer Torres’ family in the wake of their loss has raised over $2,000 so far.

“We ask all of you to please pray and keep in your thoughts Officer Torres and the other victims of this senseless act of evil,” the Raleigh Police Protective Association (PPA) said in a Facebook post on Friday. “We are thankful and proud of the courageous response of members of the Raleigh Police Department, Wake County Sheriff’s Office, State Highway Patrol, NC ALE and State Capitol Police who successfully took the suspect into custody.”

Cooper ordered that flags be lowered to half-staff in honor of the victims who were murdered in this “horrific and infuriating act of violence.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Raleigh Police Department Officer Gabriel Torres, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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