Reno shooter gunned down two doctors, patient at urology clinic

Officers escort witnesses to a bus at the Renown Regional Medical Center after a lone gunman shot and killed a doctor, wounded another doctor and a patient, then took his own life Tuesday in Reno.
(Scott Sady / Associated Press)

The man who went on a shooting rampage with a 12-gauge shotgun at a Reno medical clinic Tuesday killed one doctor and injured another physician and a patient before killing himself, officials said Wednesday morning.

Dr. Charles G. Gholdoian, who worked at the Urology Nevada office on the Renown Regional Medical Center, was killed, authorities said.

A female doctor at the clinic, who was not identified, and a patient identified as Shawntae Spears were wounded and remained in critical condition Wednesday morning, officials said.


Reno police said they had found no motive for the shooting, adding that they had tentatively identified the gunman but were not naming him until they could notify his family.

“All of this could take several weeks to piece together,” Reno police Deputy Chief Mac Venzon told reporters. Investigators suspect that the shooting was not random, however the shooter did not appear to have any family connection to the victims, authorities said.

Reno police and medical officials who attended Wednesday’s news conference expressed weariness in the aftermath of yet another shooting rampage. The urology clinic shooting comes not long after a 12-year-old student wounded two classmates and killed a teacher at a middle school in nearby Sparks in October.

“We get too much practice at this,” Lori Fralick of Reno Police Victims Services told reporters.

Reno Police Chief Steve Pitts said that “these incidents occur in our country with some high frequency.” Such tragedies “often leave us wondering why, but the outpouring of those we serve has been significant and we will be better for it.”

The shooting was first reported at 2:05 p.m. Part of the reason investigators suspect the shooting was not random is tied to how and where the gunman decided to start shooting.

Police said he entered the Center for Advanced Medicine building, went up to the third floor, past the front desk of the urology clinic, and entered the patient-care area before opening fire. Police said they didn’t know yet whether he had been a patient at the clinic.

Kandy Hall of Sparks told the Reno Gazette-Journal that she was in the clinic’s waiting room when the shooter came in holding a shotgun “and said something like, ‘Everybody get out of here,’ or ‘You’d all better get out of here.’ Then he opened the door to go back to where the doctor and the nurses were.”

The first police arrived at the building within two minutes of receiving the emergency call. Responders found the victims within 12 minutes after starting a room-by-room search, Reno police Deputy Chief Tom Robinson told reporters Wednesday.

Dr. Michael Morkin, the incoming chief of staff for Renown, told reporters that he knew both of the doctors who had been shot, calling both “friends of mine.”

“The physician who passed away is going to be extremely difficult [for me],” Morkin said, adding that “the physician with critical injuries is going to face a road …. Please have them in your prayers.”

Morkin added, “We’ve been doing way too many of these things recently.”