BY KENNETH DEAN, firstname.lastname@example.org
LONGVIEW— A nurse who lost her life in a Tuesday morning stabbing at Good Shepherd Medical Center was described by the hospital’s CEO as a seamstress, a Sunday School teacher of two-year-olds, a huge Baylor fan, a mother, a grandmother, a healer, a trainer, a mentor, a nurturer and a hero,” who died trying to protect her patients.
Police say her assailant, Kyron Rayshawn Templeton, 22, of Longview, is in custody and charged with her death and the assaults on four others in the incident that occurred shortly before 7 a.m. at the hospital’s surgery center.
CEO Steve Altmiller said Gail Sandidge, a registered nurse, began her career with Good Shepherd in 1978 in pre-op and as a surgical nurse.
“You nurses are protectors by nature, and Gail — she fit that profile. She was protecting her patients in an act of courage today, and in so doing, she lost her life,” he said. “This morning, the son of a patient attacked and stabbed several victims in our Ambulatory Surgery Center.”
Altmiller said during the incident a visitor was critically injured and remains hospitalized. Two other visitors also were injured as was another hospital employee.
Those injured include Good Shepherd employee Karen Bobo, and visitors Melissa Sims, Teresa Allison and Harris Teel.
Altmiller said the hospital was working in conjunction with the Longview Police Department, but the hospital was in mourning.
“Today has been a tough day for us. There were some heroes just doing their jobs,” Altmiller said.
Longview Police Public Information Officer Kristi Brian said Templeton was apprehended on Sixth Street near the hospital just eight minutes after the 911 call was placed. She confirmed a brief struggle ensued with police, but said no officers were injured.
Templeton has been charged with one count of murder and four counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
He is being held in the Gregg County Jail on bonds totaling $2.6 million set by 124th District Judge Alfonso Charles.
Hours after the stabbing, officers were seen combing through the parking lot of the Surgical Center and around the hospital.
Brian said officers were searching for the weapon in the case and did find a knife believed to have been used in the incident.
Good Shepherd Director of Security Kenny Jerrigan said his security team was looking at all video from the hospital and would hand over any video related to the incident to police. He did not say whether video cameras were present in the area where the incident took place on the second floor.
Altmiller said security protocols would be reviewed to see if any adjustments were needed to provide a more secure environment in the hospital.
Talking about how the employees would deal with the tragedy, Altmiller said, “We will heal and we will continue to take care of our patients, and we thank you for your prayers.”