A 15-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of killing five people in North Carolina and is in critical condition in hospital, US police said.

The boy, who was not named, allegedly shot two people in the state capital, Raleigh, before opening fire on a footpath, killing three others and injuring two others.

Among the victims of Thursday night’s attack were a 16-year-old boy named James Roger Thompson and a 29-year-old off-duty police officer named Gabriel Torres.

The other victims killed in the shooting were 52-year-old Nicole Connors, 34-year-old Mary Marshall and 49-year-old Susan Karnatz.

Marcille Lynn Gardner, 59, was injured in the attack and remains in critical condition in hospital, while a second police officer, Casey Joseph Clark, was also injured but released.

Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson said the people killed were a racially diverse group and authorities have not yet determined the reason for the shooting.

The incident triggered a massive citywide police response, with officers searching for the suspect for several hours before cornering him in a home and arresting him.

Several law enforcement officers invaded the neighborhood of Hedingham, a residential area northeast of downtown Raleigh, closing roads and warning residents to stay inside while they searched for the killer.

Residents speak to a police officer in front of the house where the suspected shooter lived
Law enforcement officers work on a crime scene in the neighborhood of Hedingham and the Neuse River Trail area in Raleigh, NC on Thursday, October 13, 2022. Police say a 15-year-old boy shot at least two people to death in the streets of a neighborhood in the capital of North Carolina, then fled to a footpath, where he opened fire, killing and injuring others.  (AP Photo / Allen Breed)
Law enforcement officers work at a crime scene in the Hedingham neighborhood

“Nobody should feel this fear”

Governor Roy Cooper called the attack a “maddening and tragic act of gun violence”.

“Today we are sad, we are angry and we want to know the answers to all the questions,” he said.

“I think we all know the basic truth: no neighbor, no parent, no child, no grandparent, no one should feel this fear in these communities – no one.”

In a statement, President Joe Biden said he and First Lady Jill Biden are in mourning with the families of the victims and his administration is working with Mr. Cooper to help local authorities in their investigations.

“Enough. We have grieved and prayed with too many families who have had to bear the terrible burden of these mass shootings,” he said.

An ambulance believed to be carrying a shooting suspect arrives at Wake Medical Center Emergeny Room in Raleigh, North Carolina on Thursday, October 13, 2022, surrounded by police.  (Photo AP / Karl DeBlaker)
The suspected teenager was taken to the hospital
Police gather at Aldi on New Bern Avenue in Raleigh, NC on Thursday evening, October 13, 2022. Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin told reporters that more people were killed on the Neuse River Greenway at around 5pm and that the police department told her around 8 pm that the suspect had been ... contained ... in a residence in the area.  (Ethan Hyman / The News & Observer via AP)
A huge police response followed after the shooting

The incident in Raleigh is just the latest in a violent week across America, with five other people killed in a shooting in South Carolina on Sunday.

Wednesday night, two police officers were shot dead in Connecticut after they were apparently ambushed by an emergency call about possible domestic violence.

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Police officers were killed 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, were killed.

The violence on Thursday was the 25th mass killing in 2022 in which victims were shot and killed, according to the Northeastern University mass killings database.

A mass murder is defined as when four or more people are killed, excluding the perpetrator.

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