Local Vernon residents react to state hospital shooting

Local Vernon residents react to state hospital shooting

VERNON, TX (KAUZ) - Vernon police are looking for more evidence and a person of interest following four possible gunshots near the North Texas State Hospital last night.
    "My mother lives just right down the street," Brandon Kirkland, a resident of Vernon said. "So I was worried for her and drove over. I didn't know what was going on and still don't know exactly what to make of it. But I stayed over and was basically looking out for her."
Neighbors are concerned and on edge after hearing the gunfire just before 8:30 p.m. Monday evening and seeing the state hospital on lock down.
    "People have gotten out before, but the guns is what scared me," Elaine, a resident of Vernon said. "Hearing that someone had fired a gun and that there might be somebody loose with a gun scares me."
    "I wasn't scared because I've lived here for so many years," Glenda Boyd, a resident of Vernon said. "But you need to be on your toes all the time. You really do."
Right now police do not have a suspect after they confirmed their first person of interest was at a different state hospital and could not have been in Vernon at the time.
The area was on lock down for nearly two and a half hours for precautionary measures.
    "I work at the hospital," Kirkland said. "And it's maximum security. The security does a fine job. My mother has lived here for years and there has not been a problem."
No damage or evidence has been found but detectives continue to investigate.
In the meantime, Kirkland is not worried.
    "It is a safe neighborhood," Kirkland said. "I come over here all the time and I feel safe. My grandchildren feel safe. It's a safe area."
When we have anymore information on this potential shooting, we will bring it to you.
Kirkland said he cannot remember an incident like this happening in the past.
Another person said they have heard of people escaping, but never any shots fired."

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