Boston doctor killed in hospital shooting had treated suspect’s mom, who recently died

Posted at 4:20 PM, Jan 21, 2015

By Ed Payne, Kevin Conlon and Joshua Berlinger


(CNN) — The Boston doctor who was fatally shot Tuesday at Brigham and Women’s Hospital had treated the mother of the gunman, a source briefed on the investigation told CNN.

Michael Davidson was the director of endovascular cardiac surgery at the hospital and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, according to the hospital’s website. The 44-year-old Wellesley, Massachusetts, resident graduated from the Yale University School of Medicine in 1996.

“Dr. Davidson was a wonderful and inspiring cardiac surgeon who devoted his career to saving lives and improving the quality of life of every patient he cared for,” the hospital said in a statement. “It is truly devastating that his own life was taken in this horrible manner.”

At a new conference Wednesday, colleagues remembered Davidson as a loving father and devoted friend who played guitar in a band with other physicians. They set up the Dr. Michael J. Davidson Family Fund in his memory.

Davidson’s wife, Terri Halperin, also a physician, is 7 months pregnant. They have two daughters, ages 7 and 9, and a son, who is 2.

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said the suspect came onto the second floor of the hospital, where the cardiovascular unit is, and asked to speak with Davidson.

The doctor came into the foyer between the waiting and exam rooms to see the suspect before he was shot, according to Evans.

“His colleagues got to him as quickly as possible, over to the emergency room,” Evans said. “Within the last year, we have done several trainings here on this very scenario.”

The gunman

Police later identified the suspect as 55-year-old Stephen Pasceri of Millbury, Massachusetts.

He was found dead of what was “clearly” a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to Evans.

The motive

It was not immediately clear what prompted the shooting, but a source briefed on the investigation told CNN that Pasceri’s mother, Marguerite Pasceri, was a patient of Davidson’s and recently died.

“We are looking at a possible motive. We know (the gunman) came into the hospital on the second floor looking for this particular doctor,” Evans told CNN affiliate WCVB. “There was a reason he targeted this doctor.”

“I’m in shock, I can’t believe it. He was such a nice a man and (he had a) beautiful family. It doesn’t make any sense,” Michelle Piselli, a neighbor of Pasceri, told affiliate WHDH. “It’s hard to process.”

The scene

One man taking his son to see a doctor said the scene at the hospital was hectic.

“There was nothing but police officers with guns drawn and everyone was yelling,” witness James Pittelli told WCVB.

“People were falling down,” he said. “Some were crying. It was a very surreal situation.”

CNN’s Tina Burnside and Lawrence Crook III contributed to this report.

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