Wife recalls trying to save officer killed in mass shooting
The first public funerals for victims of a mass shooting in Raleigh were held over the weekend.
Raleigh police officer Gabriel Torres, 29, was one of 5 people killed in the October 13 shooting that began in the city's Hedingham neighborhood.
His wife Jasmin Torres spoke at his funeral of his service in the Marines and working night shifts on the police force. She recalled Saturday how she tried to save him after he was shot.
"I'm glad you were still with me long enough so that I could kiss your skin while it was still warm," Jasmin Torres said. "While I could still feel the pulse of your heart."
Gabriel Torres was inside his personal vehicle and about to leave for work when authorities said he was shot by a 15-year-old boy wearing camouflage clothing and firing a shotgun.
"Every chapter of our lives together, brought us distance," Jasmin Torres said. "But this distance, this new distance, this one I will struggle with for the rest of my life."
While authorities continue to search for a motive, North Carolina's capital city was still reeling days later — and paying tribute to those who had died.
Speaking at Cross Assembly Church in Raleigh, Jasmin Torres recalled flashes of her husband's final moments.
"Finding you wounded with your life slipping away is a pain too hard to deal with," she said.
She added: "I gave my all to try and save you. I'm sorry if I scared you. I didn't know I could scream that loud."
Gabriel Torres leaves behind a 2 year-old daughter, Layla. Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson spoke at his funeral.
"The person officer Torres was and the life he lived as a husband, father, son, Marine, and Officer of our great city reflects highly on the badge he wore and the one we cherish," Patterson said.
Not long after U.S. Marines folded up the American flag that was draped over Torres's coffin, friends and family of another shooting victim, Susan Karnatz, filled the sanctuary of North Raleigh Presbyterian Church, The News & Observer reported.
"And now I wonder what her life might teach us, even through her death," Pastor Lisa Hebacker said during the service. "I am sure — sure — that the circumstances surrounding Sue's death teach us that the world still has an awful lot to learn about love."
A memorial is also expected in coming days for Mary Marshall, 34, a Navy veteran who was walking her dog when she was killed. She had planned to get married later this month.
Another victim was Nicole Connors, shot while talking to a neighbor on her porch. She was the matriarch of her extended family and her funeral is scheduled for Thursday in Dayton, Ohio, according to the Dayton Daily News.
A memorial was held Thursday for James Thompson, 16, the older brother of the 15-year-old who police say carried out the shootings. A basketball jersey had been placed atop James Thompson's coffin.
He was "just getting to that age when the whole world was opening up for him," Jeff Roberts, senior pastor of Trinity Baptist Church, said during the service.
The shooting suspect was identified by his parents as Austin Thompson. Police said they believe he fired shots at officers and that multiple officers returned fire before he was arrested. He remains in critical condition, according to a report released by police on Thursday.
The parents released a statement that they are "overcome with grief" and saw no warning signs that "Austin was capable of doing anything like this."
His mother said Wednesday that he was moved to a pediatric ICU unit. The top local prosecutor has said she will seek to charge the youth as an adult.