Stephen Pasceri walked into Brigham and Women’s Hospital on January 20 and shot a doctor before turning the gun on himself. It’s believed that he asked for the doctor at the desk and sought him out before the shooting. Pasceri, 55, died after shooting himself inside one of the hospital’s examination rooms at around 11 a.m. The doctor he attacked has been named as Dr. Michael J. Davidson. He was shot twice in the chest and died of his injuries late on the night of January 20.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. His Mother Died Under the Care of the Doctor He Shot
My Fox Boston reports that Dr. Davidson previously treated Stephen Pasceri’s mother. She died in November 2014 while a patient at Brigham. Dr. Davidson suffered life-threatening injuries after being shot twice. Boston Police Commissioner William Evans told the media that Pasceri “came into the hospital asking for Dr. Davidson. We don’t know why. That’s something we’re looking into.”
Hospital president Dr. Elizabeth Nabel told the media she was “extremely proud of the way our staff responded.” She said there was a “calm, rapid response.” Dr. Nabel added “We had a very tragic situation here this morning. I want to thank the Boston Police Department for doing an extraordinary job of responding rapidly,” reports the Boston Globe. According to the paper, Boston police were called to the hospital just before 11 a.m., and along with security guards, conducted a room-by-room search until Pasceri was found.
2. After His Father Died in 2011, Pasceri Wrote to John Kerry to Complain About the Bill His Family Got
Stephen Pasceri’s mother passed away on November 15, 2014. The Millbury Sutton Chronicle reports that she died “surrounded by the family she had loved so much in life. A light has gone from the world that can never been replaced.” Her husband, Greg, passed in December 2011. Her obit says she will be deeply missed by her children Stephen, Angela, Matthew, Andrew and Rebecca. Massachusetts Public Notices says that Stephen Pasceri was the executor of his mother’s estate. The Worcester Telegram reported in 2012 that in the aftermath of his father’s death, Stephen Pasceri’s mother was left with a hefty medical bill over more than $8,000. The article states that he even contacted Senator John Kerry and U.S. Rep. James McGovern, demanding an investigation into the billing. The family were however highly complimentary of the care their father received during his stay at Massachusetts General Hospital.
3. Pasceri Had a License to Carry
According to Kathy Curran of WCVB, Stephen Pasceri had a license to carry a gun. She also reports that he’s a resident of Millbury, Massachusetts. Police have said that Pasceri’s family had no idea of his intentions. Ryan Schulteis of WHDH reports that Pasceri’s friends and family “are in shock and say he was the nicest guy.” He is married to a woman named Teresa, who works in a hospice. The couple had children together. Stephen Pasceri worked as an accountant.
4. Witnesses to the Shooting Thought It Was a Terrorist Attack
One woman who was at the hospital at the time of the shooting told CBS Boston, “We didn’t know what to think. Was it a terrorist attack? We didn’t know what was going on, they didn’t say.” A man named James Patelli who was there while his son had surgery described the scene saying, “It was panic. People were falling down, knocking people over. It was crazy, it was surreal.” According to Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon Bombing in April 2013, the facility treated 39 people, 23 of whom arrived there within 45 minutes of the bombs exploding.
WHDH reports that Dr. Davidson was a cardiac surgeon at the hospital. According to his profile on Brigham and Women’s website, Dr. Davidson was an assistant professor at Harvard and was the the director of the Endovascular Cardiac Surgery.
After being shot on the second floor of the hospital he was rushed into surgery by his colleagues. Police have said their thoughts are with the Dr. Davidson’s wife.
5. It’s Been 12 Years Since a Similar Tragedy Occurred at a Boston Hospital
It’s been 2003 since a similar tragedy occurred at a Boston hospital. In that incident, Dr. Brian McGovern, a cardiologist, was shot dead at Massachusetts General Hospital. According to Medscape, he had been killed by a depressed woman who worked in the same building, Colleen Mitchell. A colleague of Dr. McGovern’s called him “a terrific doctor, attentive and caring to his patients, and an international expert in his field.” Colleen Mitchell also committed suicide in that incident. Dr. Davidson, who was shot on January 20 joined Brigham and Women’s in 2003.