Security Guard Being Called A Hero - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/14/03 - Karnack

Security Guard Being Called A Hero

Last Friday Johnny Kornegay was working a normal shift as a security officer at Marshall Regional hospital when he was put in a life and death situation. An inmate, who was getting a previous injury checked at the hospital, had wrestled a gun from a Harrison county deputy. At that point, Kornegay's instincts took over. In the resulting scuffle, both Kornegay and the deputy were shot. The inmate escaped.

There are fresh bandages on Johnny Kornegay's hand Monday. He says theres only a little pain. "The palm of my right hand is mangled up a little bit. The end of my little finger is pretty well gone," says Johnny.

You'd hardly know by talking with Johnny today that just three days ago he was fighting for his life. We caught up with him getting his mail at the Karnack post office. He told me Friday he saw his friend, Harrison county deputy Judy Cadenhead, fighting with inmate David Russell.

"I was able to observe him taking her down to the ground and I saw him fighting for the weapon. I just jumped right in there," says Johnny. Russell fired the gun, hitting Johnny in the hand and grazing Judy's leg. He then stole a nurses car and took off.

"Escape was more on his mind than anything else, to get away from here. And I think that's the reason why he didn't injure us any further than he did. He had every opportunity," says Johnny.

The suspect, David Russell, was later captured in Longview. Ironically both Johnny and his wife, Doris say they're praying for Russell and his family. "My heart is just burdened for the family of this man," says Doris.

Although he's being called a hero, Johnny says he has a difficult time thinking of his actions Friday as heroic.

"Judy's my friend. I did what I could at the time. I don't know if you'd call it that or not. You just do it. I don't look at myself as that," says Johnny.

Johnny Kornegay says he wants to go back to work as soon as possible. Deputy Judy Cadenhead was released from the hospital yesterday. The Harrison county sheriff's department is investigating the incident that led up to David Russell's escape.

Amy Tatum reporting.

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