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The Boston Globe


Reno hospital killer appeared to be on mission

Medical staff members left a Reno hospital after a gunman killed a doctor, wounded two others, and killed himself.

Scott Sonner/Associated Press

Medical staff members left a Reno hospital after a gunman killed a doctor, wounded two others, and killed himself.

RENO — Police think a suicidal gunman was on a mission of violence when he calmly entered a third-floor urology office and opened fire with a 12-gauge shotgun, killing one doctor, shooting another, and critically wounding a third victim.

A witness who was among those the shooter passed in the waiting area where the attack occurred said Wednesday that the man could have killed more people at the Reno medical complex if that had been his intent.

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Detectives have not been able to establish a motive or relationship between the man who shot the two doctors and the relative of a patient Tuesday before killing himself.

‘‘But the fact the shooter went through the first and second floor, made his way to the third floor of the building, would indicate to me it is not a random event,’’ Deputy Police Chief Mac Venzo said. He said authorities do not know yet whether the gunman had been a patient of the urologist killed or knew any of the victims.

‘‘While we piece this thing together, we are trying to figure out what that relationship is, if there is a relationship at all,’’ he told reporters.

Venzo said they have tentatively identified the killer but were withholding his name because they have been unable to reach his next of kin. He said they have talked with 29 witnesses so far.

Police identified the slain doctor as Charles G. Gholdoian, 46, a urologist at Urology Nevada within the Center for Advanced Medicine on the campus of the Renown Regional Medical Center. In critical condition were a female doctor whose name has not been released and Shawntae Spears, the relative of a patient.

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‘‘Urology Nevada is shocked and saddened by the events that occurred,’’ the center said in a statement. ‘‘At this time we have no information as to why these terrible events occurred.’’

Dr. Michael Morkin, an emergency room surgeon and the incoming chief of staff at Renown where the victims were taken, said both doctors were his friends. He described them as ‘‘exceptional physicians.’’

‘‘It is a very difficult time for the medical community,’’ he told reporters.

Police said there were about 100 people in the office building when authorities were alerted at 2:05 p.m. Tuesday about an ‘‘active shooter.’’

The shooting comes nearly two months after a 12-year-old boy opened fire at an area middle school, killing a math teacher before killing himself. Two victims from that attack were treated at Renown Regional.

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