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Husband of Raleigh shooting victim says, ‘I always thought it would be me to go before she went.’

“I always thought it would be me to go before she went,” the husband of Nicole Connors told NBC News.
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The husband of one of the victims of a mass shooting that left five people dead and two others injured in Raleigh, North Carolina, described his wife of five years as a “go-getter” and a caring person who always “looked out for” others. 

Nicole Connors, 52, was a “caregiver” who left a job in human resources to care for her mother after she had a stroke, her husband, Tracey Howard, told NBC News on Friday morning.

She always knew how to "take charge of everything" in order to help her loved ones, Howard said, his voice heavy with emotion.

Howard, 57, said his wife always made sure “I took care of myself” and went to doctor appointments. 

Nicole Connors and her husband Tracey Howard
Nicole Connors and her husband, Tracey Howard.Courtesy Tracey Howard

“I always thought it would be me to go before she went,” he said.

Connors’ love and care-taking also extended to the couples’ dog, Sami, a roughly 13-year-old Jack Russell mix who was killed alongside Connors.

“She knew everybody in the neighborhood,” Howard said. “She used to walk the dog with her friends in the neighborhood.

“I think if she would have survived and found out that the dog had died, that would have killed her,” he said.

The shooting unfolded in a neighborhood and walking trail northeast of central Raleigh and prompted warnings for residents to stay inside. 

Nicole Connors with her dog Sami
Nicole Connors with her dog, Sami.Courtesy Tracey Howard

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

A 15-year-old suspect was taken into custody after a “long standoff” with police, officials said.

Patterson said the victims who were killed ranged in age from 16 to 52.

The victims were Connors; Susan Karnatz, 49; Mary Marshall, 35; Gabriel Torres, 29, an off-duty Raleigh police officer who was on his way to work; and a 16-year-old white male.

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.