Local News

Shooting At Goldsboro Mental Hospital Leaves 1 Dead, 1 Injured

Posted July 24, 2005 12:32 p.m. EDT

— One man is dead and another injured after a fatal shooting Friday afternoon at a state mental heath hospital near Goldsboro.

At about 4:15 p.m., a 27-year-old patient was being admitted to Cherry Hospital when he shot William Shelton Denning, 44, according to Debbie Crane, a spokeswoman from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, which operates the hospital.

Crane said that when an Onslow County sheriff's deputy removed the patient's handcuffs, a struggle ensued and the patient got the deputy's gun. The patient then fired the gun, wounding Denning, a health care technician who had been employed at the hospital since December 1999.

The patient, whose name has not been released, then killed himself, Crane said.

Denning was in surgery at Wayne Memorial Hospital early Friday evening, where his condition was unknown.

Officials with the DHHS said they will conduct a thorough investigation of the shooting to see if any policies or procedures need to be changed to prevent future incidents.

Cherry Hospital serves 30 counties in eastern North Carolina and takes in an average of 300 patients each year.

The Goldsboro Police Department is investigating.