Tyria Bourda-Staff Writer
October 13th marked one year since five residents of Raleigh were shot and killed in the Hedingham neighborhood and along the Neuse River Greenway. Those who died were an off-duty Raleigh police officer, Gabriel Torres, 29, who was on his way to work when he was shot; Nicole Connors, 52; and Mary Marshall, 34, and Susan Karnatz, 49.
Despite the rain, the city of Raleigh hosted “Raleigh Healing Together” in Nash Square on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon to honor victims, and emergency workers, including WakeMed staff, 911 call center teams, and police officers. During one of the city’s most harrowing days, over 400 law enforcement officers and first responders displayed heroism.
The event attracted about three dozen attendees, including representatives from Raleigh’s city council and police and fire departments. In addition to a speaking portion, the event featured resources on health, nutrition, mental health, and gun violence prevention.
Police Chief Estella Patterson on Saturday credited her officers’ responses and those from agencies across the state for ending the violence.
“I am most proud,” she said. “Know that when RPD officers arrived at Hedingham, within a few minutes of the initial call, the killing stopped. No other lives were lost at that time.”
After a moment of silence for the victims, Chaplain Jeff Neal of the Raleigh Fire Department shared sentiments.
“Today we stand together as a city to honor the lives of these individuals who lost their lives on Oct. 13, 2022, as well as those whose lives were forever changed on that day. Today we also pay honor and also send our prayers to the brave men and women who responded to this tragic day, as they risked their lives to save innocent victims of this tragedy.”
Last Friday, the president of the Hedingham Homeowners Association, Kathleen Nielsen shared how the community is coping just one year later. She stated that they’ve had many chances to get together and hold each other up and continue to be strong. By helping the community, the homeowners association held a trunk or treat the next day to uplift the children in the Hedingham neighborhood.
Austin Thompson is accused of five counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder, among other charges. He was 15 at the time of the shooting and last week, a judge ruled he will be tried as an adult.