BOSTON (AP) — A man who walked into a leading hospital, asked for a cardiac surgeon by name and fatally shot him outside an examination room had been upset about his mother’s death and had blamed the doctor for it, relatives said.
Gunman Stephen Pasceri entered Brigham and Women’s Hospital on Tuesday morning seeking Dr. Michael Davidson and then shot him twice, police said. He then killed himself, and officers found his body with the weapon shortly afterward.
Pasceri’s sister and brother said Wednesday they were shocked by his actions and believe he held Davidson responsible for the November death of their mother, who had heart and lung problems.
Marguerite Joly told the Boston Herald her mother, Marguerite Pasceri, was Davidson’s patient and her brother and the doctor had had “a fine relationship.” She said she doesn’t know why her brother snapped.
“I think it comes down to the fact that my brother thought it was the doctor’s fault that my mother died,” Joly said.
Gregory Pasceri told The Boston Globe his brother, who was from Millbury, recently learned about a lung medication the doctor prescribed for his mother, which his brother believed caused a fatal complication.
“It really destroyed my brother,” Gregory Pasceri said. “I had no idea he was going to take it to that extreme.”
Four of Davidson’s colleagues said he was a doting father and a caring doctor and mentor who also played in a rock band with co-workers.
“You should all be assured that Michael Davidson was one of the kindest and best physicians and men that ever walked on this earth,” said Dr. Andrew Eisenhauer, an interventional cardiologist. “We knew that, his patients knew that and his family knew that.”
Earlier Wednesday, hospital employees held a memorial service at the main entrance and lowered the hospital’s logo flag to half-staff.
Brigham and Women’s president Betsy Nabel said the hospital would evaluate its safety protocols.
The hospital, which is affiliated with Harvard, said it was “truly devastating” that Davidson’s life was taken “in this horrible manner.”
“Dr. Davidson was a wonderful and inspiring cardiac surgeon who devoted his career to saving lives and improving the quality of life of every patient he cared for,” the hospital said in a statement.
Davidson had worked there since 2006 and was an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School.
His funeral is Friday at Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley, where he lived with his wife, plastic surgeon Terri Halperin, and their children, ages 9, 7 and 2. Colleagues said Halperin is seven months pregnant with the couple’s fourth child.