Fired Employee Takes Hostages At Texas Nursing Home Before Surrendering, Authorities Say

Tuesday, April 3rd 2007, 7:20 pm
By: News On 6

GARLAND, Texas (AP) _ A nursing home employee who was fired returned with a handgun and took four hostages Tuesday before surrendering three hours later, police said. No one was injured.

Ernie Smith, 27, was fired Friday but came back Tuesday to the Castle Manor nursing home in this Dallas suburb, said police spokesman Joe Harn.

He took four hostages but released one after negotiating with police, Harn said. He released the other three shortly before giving himself up.

Gary Rigsby, whose mother is a resident at the nursing home, told The Dallas Morning News that he spoke on the phone with a nurse who had a gun stuck in her face. The nurse told him the gunman was holding two other employees.

Nursing home employee Donald Eubanks told The Dallas Morning News that Smith had worked there for about three months and ``seemed to be a nice guy.''

A telephone call by The Associated Press to the nursing home went unanswered Tuesday.

A SWAT team was called in, and police talked with the man, Harn said.

Smith was taken to the Garland jail. Police have not decided what charges he will face, Harn said.