Who was Nicole Connors? Woman, 53, and her dog killed in Raleigh mass shooting lived 2 doors away from suspect

Who was Nicole Connors? Woman, 53, and her dog killed in Raleigh mass shooting lived 2 doors away from suspect
Nicole Connors and her dog Sami were killed in the Raleigh mass shooting that took place in the Hedingham neighborhood in North Carolina on October 13 (Photo credit: Tracey Howard via NBC News and Nicole Howard / Facebook)

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA: Five people were killed and two more were injured in a mass shooting in Raleigh, North Carolina when 15-year-old suspect Austin Thompson opened fire along a jogging trail. According to the husband of one of the victims of the 15-year-old gunman, Nicole Connors, his wife of five years was a hard-working and caring individual who always looked out for others. He described her as a "go-getter" and a loving person who always "looked out for" others.

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Nicole, 52, was a "caregiver" who quit her career in human resources to take care of her mother when she suffered a stroke, her husband Tracey Howard told NBC News. For the last three years, they had been renting a house in the Hedingham neighborhood while saving money to purchase their own home. It is reported that he and Nicole first met on Facebook where their love story kicked off. In order to support her loved ones, she always knew how to "take charge of everything," according to Howard's statement to NBC News. Furthermore, Howard, 57, claimed his wife always made sure to take care of him and went to doctor appointments with him. “I always thought it would be me to go before she went,” he said. An off-duty cop named Gabriel Jesus Torres, Mary Marshall, James Thompson and a mother-of-three, Susan Karnatz were among the other victims who lost their lives in the tragic incident. The two people injured in the shooting were Raleigh Police Officer Casey Clark, 33, who was treated and released from a hospital and Marcille Gardner, 59, who was in critical condition.

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When Howard got back home, he discovered his wife lying dead on the porch. Unfortunately, their dog, Sami, a 13-year-old Jack Russell mix was also killed in the shooting alongside Nicole. The alleged shooter, Austin, who took her life lived two doors away from the couple's home. Nicole's husband was shocked to hear that his 15-year-old neighbor is the person officials say shot and killed his wife.  "I can't believe he would do something like that. We never had any interactions with the kid, no beef with him or anything like that. I don't know what happened," he told ABC11. 

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Also, a gunshot hole and a small piece of paper labeling it as evidence were found in the mailbox outside the couple's home. “She knew everybody in the neighborhood,” Tracey said. “She used to walk the dog with her friends in the neighborhood."

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North Carolina Gov Roy Cooper has called the shooting spree “the nightmare of every community.” The teenage gunman also shot dead his own brother James,16. Witnesses said Austin 'looked like a baby' and was dressed in camouflage while carrying a long rifle. Investigators have not yet revealed the gunman's motive and it's unclear how he obtained the assault rifle.

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