NC Town Recovering From Shooting

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A small town in North Carolina is trying to recover after a weekend shooting rampage at a nursing home.

Police say Robert Stewart killed eight people and wounded three others at a Carthage nursing home.

"I crawled into the bathroom and got behind the shower curtain, and shut the doors," said resident Helen Olive. "I was so scared, and then I kept hearing gun shots and guns shots and people hollering and screaming and running."

Investigators say Stewart shot and killed seven patients, ranging in age from 78 to 98, and also killed 39-year-old Jerry Avant, Jr.

Avant was a nurse at the Pinelake Health and Rehabilitation facility.

Avant's father said his son's body had 27 wounds. He also said the doctors called his son a hero.

"Whatever action he took when he was getting shot, it saved a lot of other people," Jerry Avant said.

Another hero, Officer Justin Garner arrived first on the scene. Investigators said Officer Garner and Stewart exchanged gunfire in a hallway.

Garner wounded Stewart as he took a bullet to the leg during the gun battle. Garner is recovering at home.

"He acted in nothing short of a heroic way today," said Moore County District Attorney Maureen Krueger. "If it wasn't for his actions, he prevented it from getting worse than it is now."

Police continue to investigate why this happened.

One possible motive was that Stewart's estranged wife, Sue Griffin, works at the facility.

She said for years she dealt with her ex-husband's heavy drinking, reclusive behavior and rage.

"He did have some violent tendencies from time to time, so I wouldn't put it past him," Griffin said.

The Carthage Police Chief is trying to remain strong for his hometown.

"It's horrible," said police chief Chris McKenzie. "This doesn't happen, but it did. I think I made it clear yesterday that our community is strong, faith-based and I'm sincere when I say that. And that faith will get this community through this.

The injured suspect is scheduled to appear in court next week.

He faces eight counts of first-degree murder and a charge of felony assault of a law enforcement officer.

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CBN News
Mark Martin

Mark Martin

CBN News Reporter

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