Who was James Thompson? Raleigh gunman Austin Thompson killed his elder brother, 16, in shooting spree

Who was James Thompson? Raleigh gunman Austin Thompson killed his elder brother, 16, in shooting spree
James Roger Thompson (L) was killed by his younger brother Austin Thompson (R) in Raleigh (WRAL Youtube screengrab)

Warning: This article contains a recollection of crime and can be triggering to some, readers' discretion advised

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA: The 15-year-old suspect gunmen arrested for carrying out a mass shooting in Raleigh, North Carolina, has been identified as one of the younger brothers of the five people killed in the shooting rampage. Austin Thompson shot and killed his 16-year-old brother James Roger Thompson on Thursday, October 13. 

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In addition to Thompson, three women and a man were killed in the shooting, police said. They were identified as Nicole Connors, 52, Susan Karnatz, 49, Mary Marshall, 34, and off-duty Raleigh Officer Gabriel Torres, 29, who was on his way to work, in a residential area, northeast of downtown Raleigh. The two victims that barely survived are Marcille Gardner, 59, who is fighting for her life, and police officer Casey Clark, 33, who has since been released from the hospital.

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Who was James Roger Thompson?

James Thompson, 16, attended Knightdale High School, where his 15-year-old brother and shooting suspect Alex studied. The school principal paid condolences to the families of the victims, including James.

"This is an incredibly difficult time for our school community as well as the broader Raleigh community,” Principal Keith Richardson wrote in a statement to parents. “We have learned that junior James Thompson was killed in yesterday’s tragic shooting on the Neuse River Greenway. It is an unexpected loss and we are saddened by it," the statement read. "Our condolences, thoughts, and prayers go out to James’ family, the other victims, their families and all who have been impacted by yesterday’s events." The school said they would offer onsite counseling and the District crisis team will be available on campus Friday and next week. “These are heavy moments that we will work through together as a school family,” the school said.

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On Thursday at 5 pm, officers reported to a shooting call near the Neuse River Greenway in the Hedingham neighborhood near Osprey Cove Drive and Bay Harbor Drive. Neighbors said the teen shooter was dressed in camouflage and carrying a long rifle and backpack. “He looked like a baby. I just don’t even have the words to explain. This is not OK,” one witness said.

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The terrifying active shooting situation lasted several hours. After an hours-long manhunt, Austin Thompson was arrested and admitted at Raleigh’s WakeMed and remains in critical condition. Authorities have shared very few details about the Raleigh shooter and the motive of the killer is still unknown. It is also unclear whether the injuries he suffered were it is self-inflicted or caused by gunfight with the police. "We don't have answers as to why this tragedy occurred," said Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson, reported ABC 7.

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