Female Employee Shot Outside ETMC
By KENNETH DEAN
As she parked her car on the street in front of East Texas Medical Center early Monday morning, her former boyfriend approached her vehicle and opened fire on the 27-year-old woman.
Moments later as she stumbled into the hospital's emergency room, where she is employed as an emergency room clerk, another shot rang out -- this one leaving the former boyfriend and father of her child, Charles Aundrell Bell, 29, dead in the street of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Tyler Police Public Information Officer Don Martin said the shooting happened as Amber Lashea Pinkney, of Tyler, parked her vehicle in the 1000 block of Hospital Drive about 2:20 Monday morning.
"Bell shot Pinkney three times with a .38 caliber revolver, striking her in the jaw, hand and shoulder area. Bell then shot himself and was pronounced dead at the scene," he said.
Martin said Pinkney underwent emergency surgery and is listed in stable condition.
Rebecca Berkley, ETMC spokesperson, said the hospital went into lockdown mode as is protocol when acts of violence occur near the campus.
"At night, the only entrance that is open is the emergency room area. But, during the shooting this morning, everything was locked and secured until there was a resolution to the situation," she said. "ETMC-Tyler has security guards patrolling the campus 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Employees can request an escort to and from their car at anytime. Employees that park in our outlying lots are picked up by our shuttle buses and the drivers will wait until they reach their vehicle. ETMC also utilizes security cameras and other measures to keep our team members, patients and visitors safe."
Ms. Pinkney's family did not wish to talk to the media Monday as they tried to comprehend the act of violence that left their loved one hospitalized.
Ms. Berkley said Ms. Pinkney has been a valued ETMC employee.
"She's worked at the hospital for almost two years as an admitting clerk in the emergency department. Amber is an exemplary employee, a team player and is always ready to step in to help others. Our thoughts and prayers are with her and her family as she recovers," she said.
Neighbors in Bell's neighbor
hood said the man was usually quiet and reserved, but they really didn't know the couple.
"She is a very pretty girl and I would see her up at his family's house every once in awhile, but I didn't know anything was wrong," one neighbor said.
Smith County records show Bell had a history with law enforcement including being convicted of deadly conduct, disorderly conduct and failure to appear in court charges.
In March 2007, Richard Lynn White shot his estranged wife, who was a hospital employee and a bystander, who was visiting a patient.
White was later sentenced to life in prison for the shooting.