Indiana Doctor Killed in Dispute Over Pain Meds

By Pat Anson, Editor

A gunman who fatally shot an Indiana doctor this week was upset because the physician refused to prescribe opioid pain medication to his wife, according to police.

Dr. Todd Graham was confronted Wednesday afternoon in the parking lot outside a South Bend medical center by 48-year Michael Jarvis. After a brief argument, Jarvis shot Graham twice in the head. Jarvis then drove to a friend’s house and killed himself, according to the South Bend Tribune.

An investigation later determined that Jarvis’ wife had an appointment with Graham Wednesday morning and the doctor declined to prescribe an opioid medication for her chronic pain.

“It was Dr. Graham’s opinion that chronic pain did not require prescription drugs,” St. Joseph County Prosecutor Ken Cotter said at a news conference Thursday. "He did what we ask our doctors to do. Don't over-prescribe opioids.”

DR. TODD GRAHAM

DR. TODD GRAHAM

Michael Jarvis was present during his wife's appointment and argued with Graham. Jarvis eventually left, but returned in the afternoon with a gun and confronted the doctor outside the medical center.

"Make no mistake, this was a person who made a choice to kill Dr. Graham. This is not a fallout from any opioid epidemic or any opioid problems. That probably leads us into an examination of what is happening with the opioid problem in our community, and frankly, in our whole nation," said Cotter.

Cotter said Jarvis had a “confrontation” with Graham before Wednesday, but did not go into details.

"This was a very targeted attack," said Commander Tim Corbett of Saint Joseph County Metro Homicide. "I am a firm believer -- and I think Ken feels the same way -- that if Jarvis would have got inside that building, although there wouldn't have been any specific target, it's like trapping an animal in a corner: they're going to come out fighting. I truly believe this could have escalated into a mass shooting. I do believe that."

Mrs. Jarvis was apparently unaware of her husband’s plans.

"It was clear that she didn't know what he was doing. She's suffering as well," Cotter said.

The 56-year old Graham was married and had three children. His obituary can be seen here. Graham's wife learned of her husband’s death through social media, according to the South Bend Tribune.

Several of Graham’s patients left messages about him on the Tribune’s website.

“He was a very caring person. I am lost of words my heart is breaking for his wife and family,” wrote one patient.

“Dr. Graham has been my Dr. for 3 years. After 3 accidents, and surgeries he has helped me tremendously. My condolences to his wife. He will be missed,” wrote another.

The Indiana shooting was the third in recent months involving a pain patient and a doctor.

In June, a gunman shot and wounded two people at a Las Vegas pain clinic before taking his own life.  The shooter, who suffered from chronic back pain, had been denied pain medication during an unscheduled appointment.

In April, a disgruntled pain patient in Great Falls, Montana burned down a doctor's home, held the doctor's wife at gunpoint and killed himself during a standoff with police.

Patient Shoots Two at Las Vegas Pain Clinic

By Pat Anson, Editor

A gunman who shot and wounded two people at a Las Vegas pain clinic before taking his own life has been identified as 50-year old Chad Broderick of Las Vegas.

Police say Broderick walked into the Center for Wellness and Pain Care of Las Vegas Thursday afternoon and asked for an unscheduled appointment to see a doctor. When it was refused, he pulled out a gun and started shooting in the lobby. About a dozen people were inside the clinic at the time.

“When I heard the first gunshot, I thought it was a bottle or something on the floor, like something just popped,” a patient told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

“When I started hearing that ‘pop, pop, pop,’ I was so scared.”

“One of the most frightening experiences ever!” Neville Campbell, MD, the pain clinic’s medical director, wrote on his Facebook page soon after the shooting.

NEVILLE CAMPBELL/FACEBOOK

NEVILLE CAMPBELL/FACEBOOK

Campbell said there were “piercing screams” as people ran to escape the gunfire.

“As we barricaded ourself (with 5 others ) with a wooden desk behind the door in small office , the question of life, meaning and purpose overwhelmed my mind,” said Campbell. “But God is Good. He will never desert his own. Thank you for protecting my staff members.”

The two people who were hit by gunfire are expected to survive. Two others suffered minor injuries while trying to escape. Broderick died at the scene after shooting himself.

CHAD BRODERICK/FACEBOOK

CHAD BRODERICK/FACEBOOK

Broderick’s neighbors told the Review Journal that he was a husband and father of two, who mostly kept to himself but had a friendly wave. One neighbor called Broderick a “really nice gentleman” who complained of back pain.

“He used to talk about taking pain pills,” said Welborn Williams. “He couldn’t get any sleep at night.”

Broderick’s Facebook page reveals a man who loved fishing and was a gun enthusiast. Ironically, in 2012 Broderick recommended without comment on his page a story about an employee at a Las Vegas medical clinic who was shot during an armed robbery.

The Review Journal reported that Broderick had a concealed weapons permit and five firearms. Williams said Broderick had offered to teach him about firearms.

“I hate to see anyone in pain like that,” Williams said. “But there should have been another way for him.”

In a statement on its Facebook page, the clinic thanked “all our patients and friends for your kind words and well wishes. We are grateful that everyone is ok.”

The clinic's website says its mission is to "foster an environment of healing" through interventional pain treatments such as epidural steroid injections, as well as massage, acupuncture, aromatherapy and prayer.

The Facebook statement said the clinic would probably remain closed until July 10. Its patients are being referred to another clinic in Henderson, a Las Vegas suburb.