Police say patient killed doctor in murder-suicide

Reuters News
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Posted: May 27, 2011 4:18 PM
Police say patient killed doctor in murder-suicide

ORLANDO, Fla (Reuters) - Police in Florida were trying to determine a motive on Friday for a patient who fatally shot a transplant doctor before killing himself.

The Orlando Police Department said Dr. Dmitriy Nikitin, 41, was gunned down in a parking garage at the Florida Hospital in Orlando Thursday afternoon by Nelson Flecha, 53, who then killed himself.

"Obviously, we believe the doctor was targeted but why we just don't know," police spokeswoman Barbara Jones told reporters.

Jones told Reuters that more than one weapon was recovered from the scene. Video from cameras at the garage confirmed the murder-suicide theory, she said.

Flecha had no criminal record in Florida, Jones said. He lived in Orange City near Orlando.

Jones said one of Flecha's family members confirmed that he was Nikitin's patient, but the details of Flecha's treatment were not known.

The hospital listed Nikitin as a multi-organ transplant surgeon. He graduated from medical school in Omsk, Russia.

"The Florida Hospital family is deeply saddened by the tragic event Thursday which has taken two lives, one of whom is Dr. Dmitriy Nikitin, a respected and talented multi-organ transplant surgeon," the hospital said in a statement.

(Reporting by Robert Green; Additional reporting by Barbara Liston; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Greg McCune)