Justin Garner was the only officer on duty Sunday in the town of Carthage, population 2,021 when he saw a vehicle shot up in the parking lot of the Pinelake Health and Rehab Center. He heard shots from inside. He didn't wait for other officers; he went right in, said his uncle, William Garner.
"One of the first things he saw was someone who'd been shot," said William Garner, who said he talked to his nephew about what happened. "I have no doubt that he knew it was going to get a whole lot worse if he didn't do something." When Justin Garner came across the shooter reloading a shotgun "he gave him several opportunities to put the weapon down," the uncle said. "I think he learned that if it ever happened again, he'll only tell the person once or twice to drop that gun." Garner shot Robert Stewart, 45, a house painter who allegedly murdered seven residents of Pinelake and a nurse. Garner was shot by Stewart, getting hit with two buckshot pellets in his leg and one in his foot, the uncle said.
Damn cops. Too bad Garner didn't try to help the gunman get in touch with his feelings.