'We are all heartbroken': Robert Shook, who initially survived shooting in South Carolina, dies

Kevin Ellis, The Gaston Gazette
·3 min read

A North Carolina man who initially survived a mass shooting in rural York County, South Carolina, on Wednesday has now died, becoming the sixth person killed by a gunman who later took his own life.

GSM Services, the HVAC company that employed Robert Shook, announced his death Saturday night. The York County Coroner's office also confirmed Shook's death in a statement.

"It is with much sadness that we announce that late this afternoon our beloved co-worker, Robert Shook, succumbed to his injuries and passed from this earthly world. We are all heartbroken and our attention must turn to comforting each other and Robert’s family," the company's owners, Joel and Steven Long, said in an announcement.

It added: "Please keep his family in your prayers tonight and in the coming days as we all face this together."

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Robert Shook, 38, fought for his life at Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte for four days.
Robert Shook, 38, fought for his life at Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte for four days.

Shook and his GSM co-worker, James Lewis of Gastonia, were at the York County, South Carolina, home of 70-year-old Dr. Robert Lesslie and his wife, Barbara, 69, working when the shooting took place on Wednesday.

Lesslie and his wife died, along with two of their grandchildren, 9-year-old Adah and 5-year-old Noah.

The gunman killed himself a short time later after a standoff with police.

Shook, who family members said was shot six times, used his cellphone to call his supervisor at Gastonia, North Carolina-based GSM Services for help, despite his injuries. His supervisor then called 911.

Shook fought for his life at Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte for four days. Doctors told family members from the beginning that his chances of surviving were slim.

His family and co-workers at GSM had asked for the community to pray for Shook's recovery Friday.

Heather Thompson, who spoke on Friday on behalf of Shook's family, described her cousin as "Superman." Shook, like Lewis, was 38, and both men had three children.

"He loves his kids," Thompson said Friday. "He walks this earth and puts those work boots on every day for those three kids of his and his wife."

Lesslie was a beloved physician in the Rock Hill, South Carolina, community, a city of about 75,000 people. He had worked in the local hospital's emergency room for decades and started two area urgent care centers.

The Lesslie family released a statement through the local sheriff's office describing their grief and calling for prayers for all involved, including the suspect's family.

"We are truly in the midst of the unimaginable," the Lesslie family said in a statement. "The losses we are suffering cannot be uttered at this time. While we know there are no answers that will satisfy the question 'why,' we are sure of one thing: We do not grieve as those without hope. Our hope is found in the promise of Jesus Christ. To that end, our hearts are bent toward forgiveness and peace."

GSM Services has established a GoFundMe page to help the children of Lewis and Shook.

This article originally appeared on The Gaston Gazette: Rock Hill , South Carolina shooting: 6th victim, Robert Shook, dies