Officer ordered accused nursing home shooter to drop gun three times before downing him

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The police officer being called a hero for halting a North Carolina shooting rampage that left seven residents and one nursing aide dead said he was just doing his job when he entered the building alone.

Cpl. Justin Garner, just 25 years old but an officer for nearly five years, said he ordered the alleged killer to drop his weapon three times. But instead, the suspect, Robert Kenneth Stewart, lowered his gun at the officer, forcing him to fire, Garner recalled Thursday. Garner and two others were wounded in the outburst.

Stewart is charged with eight degrees of first-degree murder and was scheduled to make his first court appearance today. Police have not offered an explanation for the March 29 shootings but it is known that his estranged wife works at the nursing home, Pine Lake Health and Rehab in Carthage, NC. She was not injured and was expected to return to her job as a nursing aide there today, according to reports.