Amy Brocato Pearson
Jacksonville Daily Progress
CHEROKEE COUNTY —
The Cherokee County Sheriff's Department Wednesday was still investigating a shooting in Rusk that happened Tuesday.
No updates in the case had been made as of Wednesday, according to Capt. John R. Raffield, Cherokee County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Division.
Around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, the sheriff's department received a report from the Rusk State Hospital saying there was a gunshot victim in their parking lot.
Employee Garrett Scott Curtis, 22, of Alto, had gone to lunch and returned with a gunshot wound to his shoulder or neck area.
Rusk Police Department initially responded and made contact with thevictim, who was only able to give limited information before EMS was on scene and began treating him. The victim was flown to a Tyler hospital for treatment where he remains in ICU in stable condition.
According to the Cherokee County Sheriff's Department, it is believed that the shooting did not occur on the grounds of the Rusk State Hospital, but investigators have not been able to obtain any detailed information from the victim on what may have happened, or where it happened.
"From all information available to investigators yesterday, last night, and this morning, we believe this was an isolated incident that was directed solely at the victim and not a random attack," Raffield said Wednesday. "The victim made statements to several people prior to the shooting, that he had been in an altercation with some individuals from another county in the past week, and this shooting was in direct retaliation to that altercation."
Rusk State Hospital employees and the state Department of Health Services expressed their worry for their co-worker.
"We are very concerned about our employee following the off-campus shooting," said Carrie Williams
Director of Media Relations for Texas Department of State Health Services. "Our thoughts are with Garrett and his family during his recovery. We’re working with law enforcement and doing everything we can to help during this difficult time."