In yet another case of mass shooting and gun-related violence in the United States, five people have been killed after an armed assailant opened fire along a walking trail in the US state of North Carolina before being captured by the police.
The shooting took place in North Carolina’s capital city of Raleigh on Thursday, leaving five people, among them an off-duty police officer, dead and two other people wounded, with one of them reported to be in critical condition.
Reports said the gunman eluded officers for hours before he was cornered in a home and arrested, with Raleigh’s Police officials stressing that the shooter, a “white male juvenile,” had been taken into custody.
“This is a sad and tragic day for the city of Raleigh. Just after 5:00 pm today, multiple people were shot,” Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin told a press conference, adding that the incident occurred near the Neuse River Greenway, a popular trail in the area.
“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,” Raleigh’s Governor Roy Cooper said at the conference.
The authorities in North Carolina’s capital did not offer any details on the gunman’s motive, but Baldwin joined Cooper in decrying the violence.
“We must stop this mindless violence in America, we must address gun violence,” the mayor said. “We have much to do, and tonight we have much to mourn.”
The Raleigh shooting was the latest in a violent week across the US after five people lost their lives on Sunday in a shooting at a home in Inman, South Carolina.
Two police officers were fatally shot in Connecticut on Wednesday night after apparently being drawn into an ambush by an emergency call about possible domestic violence. Police officers have also been shot this week in Greenville, Mississippi; Decatur, Illinois; Philadelphia, Las Vegas and central Florida. Two of those officers, one in Greenville and one in Las Vegas, died.
According to studies, the surge in gun violence comes as firearm purchases rose to record levels in 2020 and 2021, marking the number of arms in American hands more than the total American population.
Survey results by the Nork Polling Center show about one-fifth of American adults have experienced gun violence in the past five years, whereas African Americans and Hispanics are two to four times more likely to experience gun violence compared to their white counterparts.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, more than 30,200 people have been killed in gun violence in the US in 2022, including through homicide and mass shootings.
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