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Man Dressed as Woman Killed Therapist

The person who shot and killed a therapist Wednesday night before committing suicide was actually a man dressed as a woman, authorities said Thursday.

The 26-year-old man--who was initially described as a middle-aged woman--gunned down intern therapist Rita Powers, 41, of San Diego before killing himself, police said. The man, whose name was not released by the medical examiner Thursday because his family had not been located, was receiving therapy in preparation for undergoing a sex change operation, officials said.

The shooting incident, which sent office workers scurrying to safety, led to a tense 2 1/2-hour wait before a police SWAT team stormed the office in a building in the Middletown section of San Diego. Both bodies were found in the hallway of the Cognitive Therapy Institute. A 9-millimeter semiautomatic handgun was found nearby.

Powers, the mother of two sons, was working toward a license in marriage and family counseling. Police on Thursday searched the gunman’s apartment, finding a shotgun and a closet full of women’s clothing.

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