Neighbors are scared, looking for change after shooting at Hedingham community

RALEIGH, North Carolina — A community is coping after learning that the shooter who took five lives there is a teenager.

“My first thought when I found out he went to my son’s school was that it could have happened at school,” neighbor Rahnisha Finnell said, which was very traumatic.

The 15-year-old left a trail of terror through the Hedingham neighborhood on Thursday.

Police have not confirmed the model of the weapon the teenager was carrying, or how it was obtained.

But there is no minimum age to own a shotgun or rifle in North Carolina. Something that Hedingham resident Isaac Hernandez finds troubling.

“There should be an age restriction like cigarettes or beer,” Hernandez said. “You can kill someone by pressing a button”

You must be 18 to buy a long gun from a dealer, but there are some loopholes.

North Carolina is less restrictive than many other states according to Sean Holihan of Giffords Law Center, a gun violence prevention group

“North Carolina laws need to be updated to ensure children cannot access and possess these types of dangerous weapons,” Holihan said.

North Carolina does not currently have a law requiring unattended firearms to be locked or stored in a certain manner. Firearms should also not be sold with a locking device.

However, adults with a minor in the home could be charged with a misdemeanor if a child is able to access a firearm without their permission.

Former social worker Sabrena Dewberry led a prayer group today and hopes to make connections that can prevent future acts of violence.

“We as parents are responsible and take responsibility for what we have in our homes and what our children have access to,” Dewberry said. “My hope would be that communities can come together before a tragedy happens.”

Nervous, scared neighbors in the Hedingham community

But Triangle Business Journal writer Evan Hoopfer told WRAL News that was how he felt after the mass shooting on Thursday.

“I hope my family doesn’t die in a mass shooting,” Hoopfer said.

Hoopfer lives in the Hedingham neighborhood where he roams with his wife, McKenzie and infant son, Charlie.

Hoopfer said that during filming, his editor texted him to lock his doors, warning him of the nearby shooter.

As a husband, and now a father, he fears the kind of world Charlie will live in.

“He’s going to have this threat for the rest of his life and his childhood when he should be concerned about boys or girls or pimples and stuff like that, he’s going to be concerned about mass shootings and so am I.” , said Hoopfer.

This endless loop of a deadly mass shooting, the mourning, the media coverage and then the repetition.

So if its title sounds depressing, Hoopfer said yes.

“You should be depressed about this state in our country and what we’re going through because nothing will happen,” Hoopfer said. “Nothing happened.”

We expect to hear more information about the shooting on Thursday when the five-day report is released.

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