State Hospital worker shot; Cherokee Co. Sheriff's office investigating

CHEROKEE COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - The Cherokee County Sheriff's Office is investigating the Tuesday shooting of a Rusk State Hospital worker.

Sheriff's officials confirm that 22-year-old Garrett Curtis of Alto was injured by gunfire, however specific details about the incident are still unclear. "We don't know where we came from we don't know who did it and at this time we're not sure where it happened," said Sheriff James Campbell.

Curtis was attending a new employee orientation program of the Rusk State Hospital in Rusk on Tuesday. According to investigators, Curtis left, saying he was going to get lunch. He later drove himself back to the Hospital with a gunshot wound in his upper body.

"Upon his return he was visibly hurt it has appeared as though he had been shot," said Brenda Slaton, Superintendent, Rusk State Hospital.

Curtis was flown by helicopter to ETMC in Tyler. Sheriff's officials traveled to Tyler to get more information from Curtis about the shooting.

It is believed that the shooting did not occur on the grounds of the Rusk State Hospital.

"We had heard that it happened on Highway 110 about two miles, we have been over there up and down the road not being able to find anything we've also heard two or three other locations," Campbell said.

The Texas Department of State Health Services released the following statement concerning the incident:

"We are deeply concerned about our employee following today's shooting. Our thoughts are with Garrett and his family. We're working with law enforcement and doing everything we can to help each other during this sad and uncertain time."

Rusk State Hospital confirmed Curtis is employed as a psychiatric nursing assistant and works in direct care on the ward with patients. "We're very concerned about this young man and our thoughts are with him and his family," said Slaton.

If you have any information about the shooting, call the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office at 903-683-2271

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