Shooter’s ‘botched’ vasectomy may have been motive

January 2, 2014

Police have confirmed that the suspected perpetrator of a deadly shooting at a Reno, NV urology office had been a patient at the office and had complained of poor health he attributed to complications from a vasectomy prior to the shooting.

Police have confirmed that the suspected perpetrator of a deadly shooting at a Reno, NV urology office had been a patient at the office and had complained of poor health he attributed to complications from a vasectomy prior to the shooting.

The suspected shooter, 51-year-old Alan Frazier, allegedly entered Urology Nevada’s Reno office on Dec. 17, 2013 and shot and killed urologist Charles G. Gholdoian, MD, and wounded Christine N. Lajeunesse, MD, another urologist at the practice, along with Shawntae Spears, a 20-year-old relative of a patient. Spears is currently in good condition, while Dr. Lajeunesse’s current condition has not been made public, according to the website of KOLO 8, a Reno TV station.

Reno Police Lt. William Rulla told the Reno Gazette-Journal that the shooter “had had surgery in 2010 and claimed he was having adverse symptoms due to the surgery.” Reno police also said, however, that the exact motive for the shooting may never be known. Police did confirm that Frazier had been a patient at Urology Nevada, the Associated Press reported.

Charles Bigalow, a friend of Frazier’s, told the Reno Gazette-Journal that complications from Frazier’s vasectomy had left him “so sick and weak that he could barely move,” the newspaper reported.

“This vasectomy was killing him,” Bigalow said.

However, urologist Ira Sharlip, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco, disputed Frazier’s assertion that the vasectomy was the cause of his health problems.

"There are many very large studies that show that a vasectomy is not a risk factor for any longer-term health problems, and that's very clear," Dr. Sharlip told the paper.

On Sunday, a memorial service was held at South Reno United Methodist Church to pay tribute to Dr. Gholdoian.

Dr. Gholdoian, 46, leaves his wife, Staci, and two children, Nicholas and Sophia.

“Those who knew him describe him as an exuberant, creative, and passionate husband and father who adored his wife and kids,” KOLO 8 TV reported. “They say he was a renaissance man who knew exactly the road he wanted to take to get where he wanted to go for himself or for his family.”

After completing his residency at the University of California, Irvine, Dr. Gholdoian entered private practice in Reno. There, in addition to his practice, he served as chief of the department of urology at Renown Health and Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center, was a founder of a radiation center, a board member of Surgery Center of Reno, and later became president of Urology of Nevada.

In a video tribute, urologist John Freeman, MD, and gynecologic oncologist Peter Lim, MD, offer an intimate portrait of Dr. Gholdoian.

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