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Parents of teen accused of fatally shooting 5 in Raleigh, North Carolina, say they are ‘overcome with grief’

The parents of the 15-year-old suspect accused of killing his 16-year-old brother and four others said there were “never any indications or warning signs” before the shooting.
Police work a shooting scene on Osprey Cove Drive in the Hedingham neighborhood in Raleigh
Police work a shooting scene on Osprey Cove Drive in the Hedingham neighborhood of Raleigh, N.C., on Oct. 13.Ethan Hyman / The News & Observer via AP

The parents of the 15-year-old boy accused of fatally shooting his teenage brother and four adults in Raleigh, North Carolina, said in a statement Tuesday that they are “overcome with grief.”

“Words cannot begin to describe our anguish and sorrow," his parents said, according to NBC affiliate WRAL of Raleigh.

They said their son "inflicted immeasurable pain on the Raleigh community, and we are overcome with grief for the innocent lives lost."

NBC News is not identifying the parents or the suspect because he is a minor. Raleigh police also have not publicly identified him.

The shooting, which unfolded after 5 p.m. Oct. 13 in a neighborhood northeast of central Raleigh, prompted warnings for residents to stay inside. The crime scene stretched over 2 miles, Police Chief Estella Patterson said last week.

Police took the suspect into custody after a "long standoff." He remains in critical condition, said Julia Milstead, a spokesperson for the city.

His parents said they are praying for the families of the victims: Nicole Conners, 52; Susan Karnatz, 49; Mary Marshall, 35, who was planning to get married this month; and off-duty Raleigh Police Officer Gabriel Torres, 29, who was on his way to work.

The suspect's parents said they are also mourning the loss of their other teenage son and praying for two victims who were injured — Raleigh Police Officer Casey Clark, 33, who was treated and released from a hospital, and Marcille Gardner, 59, who was in critical condition Saturday, Milstead said.

The parents added they are also praying for "everyone who was traumatized by these senseless acts of violence."

They said they "have so many unanswered questions," adding that "there were never any indications or warning signs that [our son] was capable of doing anything like this."

"Our family will continue to cooperate fully with law enforcement officials and do whatever we can to help them understand why and how this happened," they said.

Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman has said prosecutors intend to charge the boy as an adult.

Lawyers for the parents could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday. Freeman's statement noted that his parents do not plan to speak with the media.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said the shooting spree was “the nightmare of every community.”

President Joe Biden said in a statement Friday: “Jill and I are grieving with the families in Raleigh, North Carolina, whose loved ones were killed and wounded in yet another mass shooting in America. We are thinking of yet another community shaken and shattered as they mourn the loss of friends and neighbors, including an off-duty police officer.”