Hero officer got to gunman in 5 minutes

April 2, 2009 9:00:00 PM PDT
The officer credited with stopping a nursing home shooting was there within 5 minutes of the first 911 call.That according to new 911 recordings released to the media Friday.

Officer Justin Garner got the call about a shooting at the Pinelake Health and Rehabilitation Center at 10:01 a.m. Sunday. According to investigators, 45-year-old Robert Stewart was in the building shooting at patients and a nurse. Eight people died.

By 10:05, Garner radioed a dispatcher that he'd shot Stewart. "I've been shot in the foot," he told the dispatcher.

Garner was hit by three shotgun pellets in the foot and lower leg. He was treated and released at a local hospital.

Stewart has been charged with eight counts of first-degree murder and one count of felonious assault on a law enforcement officer.

Police have not commented on a motive for the shooting, but Stewart's estranged wife worked at the nursing home. She says she hid in a bathroom inside a locked Alzheimer's patient unit and was not injured in the attack.

The Moore County prosecutor said the shooting is not considered a random act of violence.

The funerals for the victims have already begun. 39-year-old nurse Jerry Avant was laid to rest Thursday. He's was credited with trying to save patients by shielding them from the gunfire.

The other victims are Tessie Garner, 88; Lillian Dunn, 89; Jessie Musser, 88; Bessie Hendrick, 78; John Goldston, 78; Margaret Johnson, 89; and Louise Decker, 98.

A memorial service for the victims will be at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Carthage United Methodist Church at 401 McReynolds Street. Pinelakes will hold a memorial service of its own at the facility at 3 p.m. April 19.


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