Local News

Fund to help families of Carthage massacre victims

Posted March 31, 2009 11:43 a.m. EDT
Updated March 31, 2009 1:45 p.m. EDT

— The North Carolina Health Care Facilities Association has established a fund to benefit family members of eight people killed Sunday in a nursing home shooting rampage.

“We are shocked and saddened by the random violence and loss of life that struck at Pinelake Health and Rehab,” said Craig Souza, president of the nursing home trade association. “A tragedy of this nature creates many unforeseen needs on victims, their families and the community."

The organization has set up the Carthage Crisis Fund to provide financial assistance to family members.

“We anticipate there may be families in need of financial help as they deal with these catastrophic events and we want to help in any way we can," Souza said.

Contributions can be made at any branch of Capital Bank or sent payable to Carthage Crisis Assistance Fund, North Carolina Health Car Facilities Association, 5109 Bur Oak Circle, Raleigh, N.C. 27612.

Pinelake residents Tessie Garner, 75; Lillian Dunn, 89; Jesse Musser, 88; Bessie Hedrick, 78; John Goldston, 78; Margaret Johnson, 89; Louise De Kler, 98; and nurse Jerry Avant Jr., 39 were killed when a gunman walked into the 110-bed Carthage facility around 10 a.m. Sunday and shot 11 people.

Police have charged Robert Kenneth Stewart, 45, with eight counts of first-degree murder and a count of felony assault on a law enforcement officer. That charge stems from the shooting of a police officer who had responded to 911 calls.