Gunman at North Carolina nursing home kills eight

WILMINGTON, N.C., (Reuters) – A gunman opened fire  inside a nursing home in a small North Carolina town yesterday,  killing eight people, including elderly patients in  wheelchairs, local authorities said.

A 45-year-old local man was arrested and faced eight counts  of first-degree murder after the shooting at the retirement  care home in Carthage, about 60 miles (100 km) southwest of  Raleigh.
“There are eight dead,” Moore County District Attorney  Maureen Krueger told a news conference. Neither she nor other  officials were able to immediately offer a motive for the  killings in what was the third major shooting incident in the  southeastern United States this month.

Those killed at the Pinelake Health and Rehab Center in  Carthage, which offered care for the elderly and Alzheimer’s  sufferers, included seven patients in their 70s, 80s and 90s,  and one 39-year-old staff member, officials said.

“The shooter entered the facility heavily armed and began  shooting at people in wheelchairs,” WRAL News quoted North  Carolina state Senator Harris Blake as saying.

Carthage Police Chief Chris McKenzie told the news  conference that the gunman shot 11 people in all. The wounded  included a police officer and the arrested suspect, whom  McKenzie and Krueger named as Robert Stewart.
Six of the victims died at the scene and two died of their  injuries in the hospital.

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