A shooting on Thursday in North Carolina's capital Raleigh left at least five people dead, including an off-duty police officer, officials said, adding that the suspect had been captured.
Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin said the shooting occurred near the Neuse River Greenway, a popular trail in the area.
"This is a sad and tragic day for the city of Raleigh. Just after 5:00 pm today, multiple people were shot," she told a press conference, adding that the shooter had been "contained."
Victims Reportedly Shot Execution-Style in the Face
Police tweeted shortly before 6 p.m. that officers were "on the scene of an active shooting in the area of the Neuse River Greenway near Osprey Cove Drive and Bay Harbor Drive."
At around 8:30 p.m., police advised residents to remain in their homes "until further notice." The Raleigh Police Department has confirmed five fatalities. One of them was an off-duty Raleigh police officer." Two people, including another police officer, were rushed to the hospital with injuries.
The shooter, a "white male juvenile," was taken into custody shortly after 9:30 pm, Raleigh Police Lieutenant Jason Borneo said in a follow-up press conference. According to reports, the suspect was wearing camouflage, carrying a "long gun" and shot the victims execution style in the face.
The suspect eluded police for hours before he was cornered in a home and arrested. His identity and age has not been released to the public.
"Tonight terror has reached our doorstep. The nightmare of every community has come to Raleigh. This is a senseless horrific and infuriating act of violence that has been committed," governor Roy Cooper told reporters.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, a not-for-profit resource which collects evidence from 7,500 law enforcement, media, government and commercial sources to try to monitor the number of shootings in the US, there had been 34,883 gun deaths in the country during 2022 as of 13 October. Of those, 16,001 were classified as homicides.
There have been 17 mass shootings in North Carolina this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. It defines mass shootings as incidents wherein four people or more suffer gunshot wounds.
Thursday's incident comes hours after Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz was spared the death penalty after killing 14 students and three staff members at his former school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, on Feb. 14, 2018.