The shooting spree was ended by 25-year-old Officer Justin Garner, who entered the nursing home alone as he responded to a 911 call. McKenzie said Garner, a training officer with more than four years on the Carthage force and a past winner of the department's officer of the year award, knew he was headed into a perilous situation, but didn't wait for back-up or a SWAT team to arrive.
"If that's not heroism, I don't know what is," McKenzie said
"He had to go to all the way through the facility to encounter this individual," McKenzie said. "It would be hard for me to believe he didn't (hear gunfire)."
Stewart wounded Garner three times in the leg as they traded gunfire in a hallway of the 110-bed facility, McKenzie said. The single shot Garner fired from his .40-caliber service pistol hit Stewart in the chest.
"Whether he realizes it now, he will hopefully realize someday how many lives he has saved," McKenzie said, adding: "A lot more lives would have been lost, I honestly feel, had he not done what he did. For certain."