Local News

Hendersonville ESC Office Closed Temporarily Following Fatal Shooting

Posted April 4, 2004

— Hendersonville's

Employment Security Commission

office will be closed temporarily beginning Monday after a tragic shooting incident there Friday afternoon.

Two ESC employees were shot. One of the victims -- manager Letch Beatty -- died from his wounds.

Ron Piercy, who was wounded, was treated and released from Pardee Hospital in Hendersonville Friday evening.

"We need to step back for a moment and respond appropriately to this situation," ESC Chairman Harry Payne, Jr., said. "We need to pay our respects to Letch and his family, as well as tending to our other ESC coworkers in this time of bereavement."

Grief counseling for any ESC employees requesting such support will be provided, Payne said. In addition, enhancements to ESC safety and security practices will be considered to help protect staff members and the public who come into the agency's 92 offices across North Carolina.

Payne said the office will re-open following necessary work to make the building sound again following the incident. In the meantime, agency customers in the area are being asked to do one of three things so the ESC can provide them with assistance:

  • Call 1-877-372-6565 (toll-free in N.C.),
  • Visit the Asheville office, 48 Grove Street, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (phone number 828-251-6200),
  • Visit the Brevard Branch Office, in the Community Services Building on Gaston Street, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday (phonoe number 828-884-3214)
  • Visitation for Beatty will be Wednesday, from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m., at Thomas Shepherd & Son Funeral Directors, 125 South Church Street in Hendersonville. The funeral service will follow at 11 a.m. in the funeral home chapel.

    The family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Letch Beatty's name to the Foothills Golden Retriever Rescue,, Post Office Box 9077, Greenville, S.C. 29604.

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