Slain nurse laid to rest

ROCKINGHAM Many have called Jerry Avant a hero. The 39-year-old was shot some 27 times as he tried to shield patients from the bullets of alleged gunman Robert Stewart.

Seven patients and Avant were killed before Carthage police officer Justin Garner confronted Stewart in a hallway and brought him down with a single bullet to the chest from his service pistol.

Thursday, family, friends, and members of the community came together for a final goodbye. They honored the hero with prayer and song.

"He was a good person, a very smart person, a very trained nurse, and after all this happened, I kind of figured that he'd be the one to try and save everybody," said the Reverend Donald Daniel at the service at the Freedom Baptist Church.

Avant was no stranger to helping people. He spent 10 years in the Coast Guard and was buried with full military honors.

Copyright © 2023 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.