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Hospital stabbing witness: 'I jumped up and got in front of my wife and kids'

By Sarah Thomas sthomas@news-journal.com
Nov. 26, 2013 at 1:03 p.m.


A Longview man has been charged with murder after a trip to the hospital Tuesday to see his mother turned into a deadly stabbing spree that ended with a nurse dead and four other people injured.

Police said 22-year-old <a href="http://www.news-journal.com/news/local/good-shepherd-stabbing-suspect-said-to-be-quiet-nice-person/article_5ea59977-bdd0-5b53-9ff4-bd905fc762c6.html" target="_blank">Kyron Rayshawn Templeton</a>, fatally stabbed <a href="http://www.news-journal.com/news/local/good-shepherd-stabbing-victim-leaves-loving-legacy-of-nurturing/article_81696e24-390d-5e75-a66d-58a8a79ab302.html" target="_blank">57-year-old Gail Sandidge</a> about 7 a.m. while she was working on the second floor of the hospital's Ambulatory Surgery Center inside Medical Plaza I.

Templeton was at the hospital because his mother was scheduled to have a procedure Tuesday morning, according to Good Shepherd Medical Center CEO Steve Altmiller.

Gregg County Pct. 3 Justice of the Peace Talyna Carlson pronounced Sandidge dead at 9 a.m. in the hospital's emergency room.

"The Good Shepherd family tragically lost a member of its team this morning," Altmiller said during a press conference Tuesday morning at the hospital.

Police arrested Templeton near the intersection of <a href="https://maps.google.com/maps?q=sixth+and+padon+streets+longview+texas&hl=en&ll=32.499727,-94.729008&spn=0.003579,0.006271&sll=31.168934,-100.076842&sspn=14.843934,25.686035&hnear=N+6th+St+%26+Padon+St,+Longview,+Gregg,+Texas+75601&t=m&z=18" target="_blank">Sixth and Padon streets</a> near Trinity Episcopal Church eight minutes after they received the call about the stabbing, Longview police spokeswoman Kristie Brian said. Officers later found the murder weapon outside the hospital.

<a href="http://www.news-journal.com/news/local/good-shepherd-stabbing-suspect-said-to-be-quiet-nice-person/article_5ea59977-bdd0-5b53-9ff4-bd905fc762c6.html" target="_blank">Templeton</a> resisted, according to Brian, and she thought there was a scuffle but no officers were injured. He was arraigned Tuesday afternoon in the 124th District Court on one count of murder and four counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

He was being held Tuesday evening in the Gregg County Jail under bonds totaling $2.6 million.

Court records show a search warrant to obtain Templeton's DNA was filed Tuesday afternoon in the Gregg County District Clerk's Office.

"We want to make sure we can place him at the crime scene," Brian said.

According to the search warrant, Templeton repeatedly told police, "they" were trying to kill his mother.

Karen Bobo, the second hospital employee among the injured, was treated and released, Brian said.

Hospital visitors Harris Teel, Teresa Allison and Melissa Simms also were injured. The victims were treated at Good Shepherd's emergency center, Altmiller said. He said one of the visitors had been treated and released while one remained in critical condition and another in good condition.

<h3>'Very surreal, very upsetting'</h3>

Chad Jackson, along with his wife Jana, their two daughters and the children's grandmother were at the hospital early Tuesday waiting for his 6-year-old to go into surgery.

<a href="http://www.news-journal.com/news/local/good-shepherd-stabbing-victim-leaves-loving-legacy-of-nurturing/article_81696e24-390d-5e75-a66d-58a8a79ab302.html" target="_blank">Sandidge</a> was his daughter's nurse and had just left his daughter's side to care for another little girl when a commotion near the waiting room caught her attention, Jackson said.

"We heard some scuffling, some yells and a door slam. Next thing we know, we see a gentleman who looked like he's been thrown down," he said. "The nurse that was caring for our daughter came out of one of the other curtained areas to see what was going on. That's when he stabbed her in the chest.

Police have not determined a motive for the attack, but Jackson said the man was mumbling about someone trying to hurt his mother.

"It was all very, very surreal and very upsetting," he said.

Templeton then turned toward Jackson and his family, forcing Jackson to step in front of his family to shield them from the man with the knife.

"I jumped up and got in front of my wife and kids and stood my ground," Jackson said. "I didn't know what he was going to do next."

The man, who police later identified as Templeton, was about four feet away from Jackson when the two made eye contact.

"You hear people talk about facial expressions and eyes and you could just tell something was wrong," he said.

That's when hospital staff approached and started trying to get him to leave the building.

"They were trying to get him out. He finally ran out. That's when they realized the nurse had been hurt severely," he said. "Everyone was just trying to figure out just what in the hell was going on. We're in Longview, Texas. Stuff like this just doesn't happen here."

<h3>Hospital security</h3>

Hospital staff ushered Jackson and his family into an office and closed the door.

"They were more concerned with our safety than their own," Jackson said. "They performed phenomenally well under that type of stress and those circumstances. They did not run. They did not panic. They seemed prepared if there's such a thing as being prepared for this type of thing."

Jackson said he doesn't know what set Templeton off and he said Sandidge didn't know what was happening when she came to see what the commotion was about.

"I don't think she had any kind of clue that there was someone there who was filled with so much hate," he said.

Altmiller called the crime an "isolated event" and said the hospital would be conducting an internal investigation into how staff reacted to the situation to determine if any changes should be made to security.

"None of our security officers are armed," Altmiller said.

Good Shepherd's Director of Security Kenny Jernigan said his office was in the process of reviewing video surveillance and turning over anything that might help police with the investigation.

The hospital rescheduled Tuesday's surgeries as well as those that were scheduled for today, Altmiller said.

Gregg County Jail records show Templeton has one previous arrest in April on a charge of theft.

<em>- Follow Sarah Thomas on Twitter: <a href="https://twitter.com/sarahLNJ" target="_blank">@SarahLNJ</a></em>

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