07/25/05 — Cherry worker shot by patient remains stable

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Cherry worker shot by patient remains stable

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on July 25, 2005 1:50 PM

A Cherry Hospital health care technician wounded during a Friday afternoon shooting at the hospital remained in stable condition today, with local and state authorities continuing to investigate the case.

William Shelton Denning, 44, underwent surgery at Wayne Memorial Hospital Friday evening after being shot during a struggle between a patient being admitted and the deputy who transported him to Cherry.

Clifton Gentry, 27, shot and killed himself after wounding Denning.

According to a Goldsboro police report, the incident happened at about 4:15 p.m. Friday when Onslow County deputy Arturo Pizano took Gentry to Cherry for an involuntary commitment.

Gentry was in handcuffs, but the they were removed during processing in the hospital's U-2 building. A struggle ensued and Gentry grabbed the officer's gun and fired it.

Denning, an employee at the hospital for six years, was wounded and Gentry then turned the gun on himself. Gentry died at the scene.

Immediately following the incident, the hospital was placed under lockdown. Mark Van Sciver, the deputy director of public affairs with the state Department of Health and Human Services, said the precautionary measure was taken until the crime scene could be processed and cleared by authorities.

Van Sciver said Cherry Hospital police turned over its findings to Goldsboro police, who are investigating the case along with the State Bureau of Investigation.