Release of 911 tapes shed more light on fatal Nevada shooting rampage

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 25, 2013 1:09 AM
Release of 911 tapes shed more light on fatal Nevada shooting rampage

(Reuters) - The gunman who killed one doctor and wounded another before taking his own life at a Nevada urology office last week had been a patient there, and investigators are examining reports he had complained of suffering from a botched vasectomy, police said on Tuesday.

Police said they were still trying to determine what led Alan Frazier, 51, a former power plant control room operator from Northern California, to walk into the office of the Urology Nevada medical group in Reno last Tuesday and open fire with a 12-gauge shotgun.

One physician with the practice, Charles Gholdoian, was slain, and another, Christine Lajeunesse, was wounded, along with a patient, before Frazier shot himself to death. He also was found to have been carrying two handguns that he apparently never fired during the attack.

Two days later, Reno police told reporters that Frazier had left a suicide note indicating he had singled out that doctor's office for attack. They had learned Frazier had undergone some unspecified surgery in 2010 that he claimed had left him with "adverse symptoms."

Police released new details on Tuesday, a week after the shooting, in response to questions posed by the Associated Press, revealing that Frazier had been a Urology Nevada patient, although investigators had yet to determine whether either doctor he shot had treated him.

Police also confirmed that they were "actively looking into" a report in the Reno Gazette-Journal newspaper that in 2012 Frazier had posted a number of messages in a Yahoo online chat room called Vasectomy Pain.

In it, according to the newspaper, Frazier said he was suffering from post-surgical complications, including severe joint pain, body aches, fatigue and other symptoms that left him feeling "like I got run over by a truck."

And according to the Gazette-Journal, Frazier blamed his doctors, saying, "Yes, yet another victim of an inhumane medical procedure from hell." The newspaper said Frazier later wrote: "They need to go down ..."

The idea that Frazier was upset about supposed complications from a vasectomy gained greater credence from the release on Tuesday of a batch of recordings of emergency-911 calls from the shooting incident.

In one of them, a man seeking cover with several other people in a restroom tells an emergency dispatcher that he overheard the suspect stating that he was angry at having "had a vasectomy here and it ruined his life."

"He said, 'As long as you're a patient, you can leave, otherwise I'm gonna shoot you,'" the man said on the call in hushed tones.

Other callers are heard whispering frantically over the phone to 911 operators as they huddled under desks or behind tables inside interior offices or exam rooms on the third-floor suite as they heard gunshots going off nearby.

Police have said Frazier had no prior criminal background, but they were still digging into his medical history, including his mental health.

Police also have said they were interviewing Frazier's former fiancee, Stephanie Wright-West, who was quoted by the Associated Press as saying he had taken medication for depression and that co-workers once talked him out of trying to kill himself when they found him in the mountains with a gun in his truck.

(Reporting by Steve Gorman; Editing by Bill Trott)