Local

Funerals set for three shooting victims

Funeral arrangements have been made for three people who died Thursday in the shooting at Doctors Hospital.

Peter David Wright, a critical care nurse of Fortson, Leslie A. Harris, a unit secretary of LaGrange, and James David Baker, a Columbus resident on his way to a doctor's appointment, were killed after police said Charles Johnston entered the hospital armed with three guns and extra ammunition and began shooting.

The funeral for Wright, 44, will be held at 12:30 p.m. Monday at Vance-Brooks Funeral Home, Columbus, with burial following at Fort Mitchell National Cemetery in Fort Mitchell, Ala. Visitation will be held from 6-8 p.m. today at the funeral home.

The funeral for Harris, also 44, will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Striffler-Hamby Mortuary on Macon Road, Columbus. Visitation for family and friends will be held from 5-8 p.m. today and 6-8 p.m. Monday at the funeral home.

The funeral for Baker, 76, will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at Fairview Baptist Church, Columbus, with burial at Parkhill Cemetery, according to Striffler-Hamby Mortuary, Macon Road. Visitation is 4-6 p.m. today at the funeral home.

Johnston, the suspect in the shooting, is being held at the Muscogee County Jail for a 2 p.m. Monday hearing in Recorder's Court. He faces three counts of murder, four counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer, one count of aggravated assault for pointing a gun, and one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

Police said Johnston went to the fifth floor of the hospital looking for a nurse named Pete, who treated his mother before she died in September 2004. Wright was shot in the chest and back and died in surgery. Harris was shot and killed after he tried to stop Johnston from leaving at the elevator.

Johnston left the hospital through the emergency room doors and shot Baker in the parking lot, police said. Columbus police officers and a Muscogee deputy marshal responded to the scene and exchanged gunfire with Johnston, before Columbus Police Cpl. Michael Dahnke shot and wounded the suspect in the shoulder.

Johnston was taken to The Medical Center for treatment and was released into police custody Friday, when he was formally charged.

The officers and the deputy marshal involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative assignment with pay and will undergo counseling.

Marion Scott, a spokesperson with Columbus Regional Healthcare System, said employees affected by the shooting will also undergo counseling. A memorial service will be planned at a later date.

A fund has been set up for Wright at all Columbus Bank and Trust Co. locations.

A similar fund has also been set up for Harris at Wachovia Bank branches in Columbus, LaGrange and East Alabama. Checks for Harris and Wright can also be dropped off at the Doctors Hospital human resources office on 19th Street.

  Comments