Reno clinic shooter left suicide note claiming botched surgery

Police escort hospital staff away from a medical office building in Reno, Nevada, on Tuesday, Dec. 17, during the chaos of shooting incident. Scott Sonner / AP

The gunman who opened fire inside a Reno clinic claimed in a suicide note that a botched surgery had been performed at the same office where he killed a doctor and himself, police said Thursday.

At a news conference, police also identified the accused shooter as 51-year-old Alan Oliver Frazier of Plumas County, Calif.

 “We may never know the suspect’s exact motive or reason for his actions, but there is indication that his focus was on the physicians at this specific office,” Reno Police Lt. William Rulla told reporters, according to the Gazette-Journal. “He had had surgery in 2010 and claimed he was having adverse symptoms due to the surgery.”

In a search of Frazier’s belongings, authorities found a typed letter “indicating the suspect's intention to commit this horrific act," Rulla said. Police also found notes indicating his acts that day “were to be his final actions."

It was not, however, immediately clear if the two doctors who were shot at the urology clinic on the campus of Renown Medical Center had been involved in the operation.

Investigators were in the process of securing Frazier's medical records to determine the precise nature of his surgery as well as other details.

There were about 100 people in the office building Tuesday when authorities were alerted about the a man wielding a gun and firing shots.

Frazier fired five shots from a pistol-grip shotgun, including the shot he used to hill himself, police said. He also had a Derringer-style pistol and a loaded .40-caliber handgun, neither of which police believe he shot. 

Police have identified the slain doctor as Charles G. Gholdoian, 46, a urologist at Urology Nevada. His colleague, Dr. Christine Lajeunesse, remained in critical condition at Renown Medical Center but was conscious Thursday, the Associated Press reported.

Lajeunesse and Shawntae Spears, 20, who was accompanying a family member during a visit to the clinic, each were shot once. Spears' condition has improved from critical to serious, the hospital said.

Plumas County Sheriff Greg Hagwood said Frazier lived alone near Lake Almanor in California, about 130 miles north of Reno.

Stephanie Wright-West, Frazier's former fiancée, told the AP that Frazier took medication for depression when they were together in the mid-1990s.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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