Raleigh has youngest shooter on FBI list of 50 ‘active shooter’ incidents in 2022

A photo of Mary Marshall, a teddy bear and various other items have fallen off the memorial for the victims of the mass shooting in the Hedingham neighborhood on Friday, January 13, 2023 in Raleigh, N.C.

The mass shooting that killed five people in Raleigh in October is among the deadliest “active shootings” in 2022.

In a report, the FBI tallied 50 active shootings last year that left 100 people dead and 213 injured, the highest total casualties in the last five years.

Raleigh recorded one of the highest number of deaths in the Hedingham mass shooting and had the youngest shooter.

Austin Thompson was 15 when he opened fire in the northeast Raleigh neighborhood killing Nicole Connors, 52; Susan Karnatz, 49; Mary Marshall, 34; James Thompson, 16; and off-duty Raleigh police officer Gabriel Torres, 29.

Marcille “Lynn” Gardner and Raleigh police officer Casey Clark were also injured in the shooting.

The FBI defines an active shooter as one or more people actively engaging in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area, the report stated.

Twenty-three of the incidents occurred in open spaces, resulting in 29 people killed and 76 injured, including Hedingham. Thirteen incidents met the federal definition for a mass killing incident, which is any shooting in which three or more people are murdered with a gun.

The report doesn’t include all types of gun violence and excludes self-defense, gang violence, drug violence, domestic disputes andr hostage situations.

The Hedingham shooting

The shooting began just after 5 p.m. Oct. 13.

Thompson first reportedly killed his brother, James, at their family home near the Neuse River Greenway Trail. He then went on a shooting spree across the trail and neighborhood.

Police believe the victims were killed in this order after James Thompson: Gardner, who was recently released from the hospital; Connors, who was killed with her dog; Torres; Marshall; Karnatz; and Clark.

Thompson’s connection to the victims and a motive for the shooting are still unknown. He was a sophomore at Knightdale High School.

Thompson was wounded during an hours-long standoff between the law enforcement officers. He was taken into custody about 9:37 p.m. As of February, officials have not commented on Thompson’s physical condition or where he is being held.

What does the report say?

The FBI’s report takes a snapshot of the last five years of active shootingts in the country. Incidents decreased by 18% in 2022 from the previous year. However, the number of incidents increased by 67% compared to 2018.

The most deaths from a single active shooter was on May 24 at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, the report reads. Twenty-one people, 19 of them children, were killed. The second highest number of deaths was in Buffalo, New York at Tops Friendly Markets with 13 people killed.

The highest number of wounded victims was at Central Avenue and Second Street in Highland Park, Illinois, where 48 were shot.

The 50 incidents in 2022 occurred in 25 states and in Washington, D.C., involved 61 firearms, and happened at schools, places of worship, open spaces, and other locations:

  • 1 officer was killed

  • 21 officers were injured

  • 4 shooters wore body armor

  • 9 shooters committed suicide

  • 7 shooters were killed by law enforcement

  • 2 shooters killed by citizens

  • 3 shooters are still at-large

The active shootings took place every day of the week with most happening between February and August. May had the most incidents with nine and also had the deadliest one.

The report further breaks down the active shooter incidents by time of day with 54% of them happening between noon and midnight.

Where did most of the shootings take place?

Six of the active shooter incidents happened in Texas.

Three were in Arizona, Michigan, Florida, and New York.

Behind Hedingham, the second active shooting situation in the state was in Kinston on July 25 when a man opened fire and killed two people at different locations.

Open spaces accounted for the most active shootings while 14 happened in areas of commerce, four in schools, four in residences, two in government buildings, two houses of worship, and one hospital.

Who are the shooters?

Men made up 47 (94%) of the shooters in the 50 incidents while one was female, one was non-binary, and one was unidentified.

They all ranged from ages 15 to 70, the report read.

In 54% of the events, the shooters had no connection to the victims or location.

What was the involvement of law enforcement or citizens?

There were nine incidents when officers engaged with gunfire and in five of them, 16 officers were injured.

In one incident (Tops Friendly Markets) an armed security officer was killed during an exchange with the shooter.

In eight incidents, citizens intervened or confronted the shooter, helping to end the shooting. These incidents included the attack on the LGBTQ+ Club Q in Colorado Springs when unarmed attendees subdued the shooter.