Local emergency management and psychologist speak comment after mass killing in Raleigh

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County Emergency Management details how the county prepares for similar incidents to the mass killing in Raleigh, and a psychologist talks about the connection between mental processes and mass killings, or acts of gun violence.

A 15-Year-old boy fatally shot five people, and wounded two others in a Raleigh neighborhood.

The mass killing led to a large police response and manhunt, with police searching more than two miles to find and capture the suspect.

New Hanover County Emergency Management Assistant Director Anna McRay, says they are prepared and trained to respond, alongside law enforcement if a similar incident happened here.

“To train and exercise, and understand what their needs are, would be the very first step in responding to an incident like they had in Raleigh. The second step is making sure that we can support the community. So, we have numerous partners in addition to for example, the sheriff’s office, that we work with to include fire/rescue, emergency medical services, health and human services, mental health assets,” said  Anna McRay, New Hanover County Emergency Management assistant director.

UNCW psychology professor, Doctor Kate Nooner, says data shows acts of gun violence are associated with individual, family, school, community, and other socio-cultural risk factors that develop during childhood and adolescence.

“The most consistent predictor is having a history of aggression or violent behavior, but even with that, –you know most teens as they get into adolescence, those tendencies tend to decrease. However, the teen that committed this act hadn’t, –you know was in their early teens, so that hadn’t happened yet,” said Dr. Kate Nooner, UNCW psychology professor.

Nooner said mass killings can have a mental impact on the public.

“People talk about the fact that they kind of get numb to it in a way, because it’s just so frequent, and also because such a complicated problem. Even though it’s urgent, it’s multifaceted and it requires multifaceted solutions, which makes it challenging,” said Nooner.

According to the Associated Press/USA TODAY/Northeastern University Mass Killings Database, Thursday’s incident in Raleigh is the 25th mass killing in 2022 in which the victims were fatally shot.

Categories: Local, New Hanover, Top Stories