Murder in North Carolina

October 13th, 2022. It was an unremarkable Thursday morning. Austin Thompson awakened in the bedroom of his home in the usually sleepy Hedingham area of suburban Raleigh, North Carolina. He decided to dress in camouflage that day; nothing unusual about that in the Tar Heel State. By 9:36 PM local time, he would be handcuffed, face down on the ground with a single gunshot wound to his head. Austin is 15 years old, a sophomore at Knightsdale High School. At last word, he was in the pediatric intensive care unit of a local hospital. It’s hard to feel bad about his fate.

As I write this (and I’m not making this up), a pop-up headline appeared on my phone. It reads, “2 killed in shooting at St. Louis high school; gunman also dead”. I can’t write one story about murder in the US before another one is hot off the presses. You see, fifteen-year-old Austin Thompson “allegedly” killed five people on that run-of-the-mill Thursday not yet two weeks ago. Two of the people he killed were veterans. One was his older brother.

Former Marine turned Raleigh police officer Gabriel Torres was among those killed in the shooting. Image from the Raleigh, NC, police department

Gabriel Torres – United States Marine Corps

Military Times reports that Torres served his nation as a Marine from 2016 through 2021, earning the rank of sergeant. He was an electrician in Combat Logistic Battalion 24, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

His family has established a GoFundMe site to aid in paying for his final expenses. Thus far, they have reached $136,000 of their $150,000 goal. Torres was only 29 at the time of his death, and he was off duty at the time he was shot.