MISHAWAKA, Indiana (CNN/ WNDU) — Indiana officials say that a husband confronted and killed a doctor after the doctor would not prescribe painkillers for the suspect’s wife.
Officials say Michael Jarvis went to the St. Joseph Medical Center in Mishawaka with the intention of killing Dr. Todd Graham.
But officials said the incident on Wednesday could have been much worse.
“They did have a relationship. They obviously knew each other,” Commander Tim Corbett of St. Joseph County Metro homicide unit told WNDU-TV.
“Although there would have been a specific target, it’s like trapping an animal in a corner. They’re going to come out fighting, and I truly believe that this could have escalated into a mass shooting,” Corbett added.
The county prosecutor says Jarvis confronted Graham in the parking lot when he would not prescribe opioids for chronic pain experienced by Jarvis’ wife.
“It was Dr. Graham’s opinion that chronic pain did not require prescription drugs. Make no mistake that that 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,” said Ken Cotter, a St. Joseph County prosecutor.
Officials said the deadly shooting was more than just a doctor or law enforcement issue.
“He did what we ask our doctors to do. Don’t over prescribe opioids. And unfortunately, for whatever reason, Jarvis made that choice to take his life,” Cotter said.
The deadly shooting left the community in mourning.
“His personality was electric. I can tell you one thing that we have joked about is Todd Graham will be the best-dressed man in heaven,” said Dr. AJ Mencias, Graham’s friend and business partner.
“A tragedy is such an understatement of what happened,” Mencias added.