Carthage, N.C. Mar 29 2009
wral.com — A gunman walked into a Moore County nursing home Sunday morning, fatally shooting eight people and injuring three others, including a police officer, Carthage Police Chief Chris McKenzie said.
The shooting happened around 10 a.m. at Pinelake Health and Rehab Center, 801 Pinehurst Ave., a 110-bed rehabilitation, nursing and Alzheimer’s care facility in Carthage.
McKenzie did not offer a motive for the crime or say what the suspect’s relationship to the facility might be. He said seven of the deceased were patients and one was an employee of the facility.
“The shooter entered the facility heavily armed and began shooting at people in wheelchairs,” Sen. Harris Blake, R-Moore told WRAL News.
While meeting with families Sunday at First Baptist Church, 108 McNeill St. in Carthage, Blake said he knew two patients at the Pinelake Health and Rehab Center. Neither person was injured, he said.
The police officer, who was the first to arrive at the scene, was shot in the leg, McKenzie said. The officer shot the gunman who was transported to the Moore Regional Hospital for treatment.
“It’s a horrible event in any size town, particularly though when you deal with a small town such as Carthage. It’s hard. This is my town, this is my small town. I was born and raised here. So yeah, I take it to heart a little bit. All you can do is move forward,” McKenzie said.
Multiple law enforcement agencies, including Carthage Police Department, Moore County Sheriff’s Office and State Bureau Investigation, are investigating.
Numerous calls to the nursing home were not answered.
Sky 5 video of the scene shows nearly a dozen law enforcement vehicles and yellow tape roping off what appears to be the front of the building.
Pinelake, which opened in 1993, recently got a five-star rating, the highest possible, from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees the federal insurance programs.