Doctors Hospital Shooting: Columbus Police release details of gunman's rampage

Mar. 28, 2008

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Friday, Columbus Police told a crowd of reporters, 63 year-old Charles Johnston held a grudge over his mother's death since 2004.

Johnson felt that a nurse killed in Thursday's deadly rampage did not properly care for his mother. Johnston told police, his mother's death had been on his mind for some time. Police say Johnston came to the hospital that morning looking for a nurse named Pete.

Johnston allegedly came back to the hospital around 2:00 p.m., armed with three pistols- including a 9mm automatic, and a .38 caliber revolver. Police say he went to the fifth-floor intensive care unit specifically looking for Pete.  Apparently, Johnston overheard someone calling the nurse's name, and then he followed Pete to an unoccupied room.

Columbus Police Chief Ricky Boren, told reporters at a press conference that Johnston confronted the nurse saying: "Do you remember me? Do you remember my mother?"

It's not known at this time why Johnston allegedly targeted 44 year-old Pete Wright, a registered nurse.

Police are checking to see whether Wright ever cared for Johnston's mother, Lillie Mae Johnston. Police say before her death, she was back and forth between the nursing home and Doctors Hospital.

Police searched Johnston's home on 5th Avenue in Columbus and did not find any other weapons. They did, though, find a copy of his mother's obituary.

It's not known at this time if Johnston has a background of mental illness. Johnston has been treated and released from the hospital after he was wounded by a plain clothes officer on Thursday.

He was immediately transferred to Muscogee County Jail, and charged with three counts of murder, four counts of aggravated assault on an officer, one count of aggravated assault on a civilian, and one count of possession of a firearm in the commission of a crime.