Russell Baldree worked as a Surgical Technician at Lubbock Heart Hospital since its opening last year. His close friends and co-workers describe him as a hard-worker who could always bring a smile to their faces, a man whose charm was captivating and a father who loved his 7-year-old son very much.
|Apparent Accident Turns into Homicide Investigation|
Dr. Burt Fowler says, "What started out as a tragedy when we thought it was an accident has now turned into anger. We found it's apparently a random, sensless act of violence." Myrna Trotchie says, "I'm angry. They have no idea what they've done.. the person they've taken away." Kelly Boren remembers his sense of humor, saying "A lot of times you'd be working along and look up and see a rubber chicken made out of a surgical towel sitting on the back table. He was always making everybody laugh."
Beyond co-worker and friend, Russel was a devoted father. Larry Pierce says, "You'd often hear him on the phone here at work, in the morning-time, waking him (his son) up for school or something.. wishing him a good day. He never missed an opportunity to be with him." Boren says, "He loved his son dearly. We all know that. He was a very, very wonderful father and I feel so terrible for that loss especially."
What makes matters worse for those who love Russell is the lack of answers as to what could have led to his shooting and tragic death. Dr. Fowler says, "We worked closely. I think I would have known if he'd been running with the wrong crowd or if he'd been in trouble. There was certainly no indication of that." Trotchie says, "There's a big empty void. You see him everywhere. He helped start this OR. He helped form it. He's everywhere. I expect to see him bouncing around the corner."
Now, Russell's friends and family just hope someone will come forward with information that will help solve the mystery surrounding his death. Pierce says, "They need to be brought to justice before they do this again. Russell deserves that." Dr. Fowler says, "It's real hard to deal with. There's no reason for it, there's just no reason."
Baldree leaves behind his son, Ethan, and many friends and family. A scholarship fund has been set up in Ethan's name at Lubbock National Bank. If you'd like to donate, call (806) 792-1000.