Memorial services set for nursing home shooting

April 1, 2009 7:44:53 PM PDT
Memorial services have been planned to honor the victims of the shooting rampage at a Carthage nursing home.

Seven elderly residents and a nurse at Pinelake Health and Rehab Center were killed Sunday morning when Robert Stewart entered the facility and began shooting.

Stewart was arrested after Officer Justin Garner hit him with a single gunshot to the chest.

Police have confirmed that Stewart's estranged wife Wanda Luck Stewart worked at the nursing home, but have refused to speculate on a motive for the attack. As Eyewitness News first reported on Sunday, she hid in a bathroom and was not injured in the attack.

Stewart is charged with eight counts of first-degree murder. Authorities identified the victims as Pinelake residents Tessie Garner, 88; Lillian Dunn, 89; Jessie Musser, 88; Bessie Hendrick, 78; John Goldston, 78; Margaret Johnson, 89; Louise Decker, 98; and nurse Jerry Avent.

A community memorial service is scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday at Carthage United Methodist Church. The Pinelake community is also having a memorial service April 19 at 3 p.m. at the facility.

Pinelake Health & Rehab says it has received an outpouring of support from people around the world in response to the. While the center's staff and residents are truly grateful for this support, they say the amount of flowers being delivered to the home is overwhelming.

In lieu of flowers, the N.C. Health Care Facilities Association has created the Carthage Crisis Assistance Fund to help the victims and their families. Donations can be dropped off at any Capital Bank branch or mailed to:

Carthage Crisis Assistance Fund
North Carolina Health Care Facilities Association
5109 Bur Oak Circle
Raleigh, NC 27612


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