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911 calls from Reno shooting describe terror

Officers gather in front of the Renown Regional Medical Center this month after a gunman killed a doctor, wounded two people and then killed himself.
Officers gather in front of the Renown Regional Medical Center this month after a gunman killed a doctor, wounded two people and then killed himself.
(Scott Sady / Associated Press)

About 10 people huddled in a third-floor women’s restroom on the Renown Regional Medical Center campus. Scared and out of breath, they struggled to describe what was happening.

“We believe there is a shooter,” a panicked man told the 911 operator. “We heard at least two shots.”

A gunman killed one doctor, critically wounded another, and wounded a woman who was accompanying a patient at the Urology Nevada clinic, which is on the Renown’s grounds but unaffiliated with it.

Alan Oliver Frazier, 51, of Lake Almanor, Calif., has been identified as the gunman. He also killed himself.

Audio clips released by Reno Police Department on Tuesday and posted by the Reno Gazette-Journal helped piece together details about the shooting, including Frazier’s potential motives.

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While some witnesses fled to the bathrooms, other took refuge under their desks or in locked exam rooms. Some fled the facility and called from outside.

Many cried in fear or whispered to avoid being heard by the gunman.

Operators encouraged them to remain calm and stayed on the line with them until they were safe or police arrived.

Witnesses said Frazier, who used his fifth and final shot to kill himself, entered the clinic office about 2 p.m. Dec. 17 and told front desk employees he was looking for physicians, not patients.

Frazier shot twice at Dr. Charles Gholdoian, a 46-year-old urologist, killing him and wounding Shawntae Spears, 20, a clinic visitor. He also wounded urologist Dr. Christine Lajeunesse.

“He [the shooter] walked in and said, ‘You guys better get out of here’ and went towards the back,” another woman hiding in the restroom told the 911 operator.

The shooter was white, tall, middle-aged and about 200 pounds, she said.

Then she gave the phone to a man, who described the shooter with more detail: He was wearing a black jacket and hat and carrying a 12-gauge pump shotgun with a pistol grip.

“He [the shooter] is [angry] because he had a vasectomy here,” the man told the operator. “He said, ‘As long you are a patient, you can leave.’ Otherwise he’s going to shoot you.”

Later, Reno police revealed they had found suicide notes and a typed letter in Frazier’s home that complained of “adverse symptoms” after surgery.

Talking quickly and holding back tears, another woman hid under her desk and told the 911 operator she had heard two gunshots. Then everything was “dead quiet” -- until a loud banging on her door.

“Oh my God…. He’s outside my door,” she said.

“Stop whispering and stay completely quiet ma’am,” the operator said. “I have lots of help on the way.”

The woman did as she was told, waiting silently until the gunman moved on and the banging stopped.

Another call came from a woman named Teresa, who hid after seeing two shots fired at a doctor.

“What’s going on?” the operator asked her.

“I don’t know,” she repeated in a whisper, barely loud enough to hear.

“Was anyone else hurt?” the operator asked.

“I don’t know -- I heard another shot,” she whispered again.

A few moments later, Teresa heard another shot.

The operator repeated the tally aloud: Four shots fired total.

“They’ve got everyone coming, OK?” the operator reassured Teresa.

Another woman, Nancy, also called from her office.

“He’s in the middle of the office … we think he shot one of our doctors,” she said, crying.

“Can you hide yourself?” the operator asked. “Stay under a table.”

Police arrived shortly thereafter.

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Twitter: @saba_h

saba.hamedy@latimes.com


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