Sylvie Claire / October 14, 2022
A suspect was arrested Thursday in Raleigh, in the southeastern United States, after five people were shot dead, including an off-duty police officer, authorities in that city said. The gunman also wounded several people, including one seriously, among them a police officer from a dog squad. The prognosis of the latter is not engaged, said the mayor of the municipality, Mary-Ann Baldwin, deploring a “sad and tragic day ».
The first shots rang out shortly after 5 p.m.(2100 GMT) on a walking trail in this city of nearly 500,000 people, the capital of North Carolina. A large contingent of law enforcement was then deployed to find the perpetrator of the shooting, local media reported. “I saw him walk by my house in the backyard. He had a long-barreled shotgun and was dressed in camouflage,” Robert, a witness who did not want to give his name, told local station WRAL.
At an evening news conference, Baldwin detailed that “at approximately 8 p.m., Raleigh police (had) reported surrounding a suspect at a residence in the area.”
“The suspect has been taken into custody,” the city’s police department tweeted shortly after. He is a “young white male,” according to Lt. Jason Borneo.
Tonight, terror knocked on our door,” lamented state Governor Roy Cooper at a press conference. “Every population’s nightmare has come to Raleigh. This is a senseless, horrific, raging act of violence that has been committed.”
Shootings regularly plague the United States, which pays a very heavy price for the spread of firearms in its territory and the ease with which Americans have access to them.
Faced with this scourge, “we must do more”, called the mayor of the capital of North Carolina, visibly upset. “We must stop this wanton violence in America. We must respond to gun violence. Our task is immense. And tonight our grief is immense.”
Approximately 49,000 people died by gunshot in the United States in 2021, up from 45,000 in 2020, which was already a record year. That’s more than 130 deaths per day, more than half of which are suicides. However, it is the mass shootings that stand out the most, while illustrating the ideological divide between conservatives and progressives on the question of how to prevent such tragedies.
Recent American history is littered with shootings, with no place in daily life seemingly immune, from businesses to churches, from supermarkets to nightclubs, from public streets to public transportation.
A high school massacre in Florida on February 14, 2018 in Parkland had sparked a broad national movement, spearheaded by youth, to demand stricter regulation of individual guns in the United States. But despite the mobilization of more than a million protesters, the U.S. Congress has not passed an ambitious law, with many elected officials under the influence of the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA), the leading American gun lobby.
In fact, in a country where the possibility of owning a firearm is considered by millions of Americans as a fundamental constitutional right, the only recent legislative advances remain marginal, such as the generalization of criminal and psychiatric background checks before any purchase of a weapon.