Dr Todd Graham, 56, (pictured) was fatally shot in Mishawaka, Indiana, on Wednesday
A man turned a gun on himself after police claim he shot dead a doctor who wouldn’t prescribe his wife opioids.
Michael Jarvis, 48, gunned down Dr Todd Graham, 56, in what Indiana officials are describing as a targeted attack on Wednesday.
Jarvis allegedly became upset when Graham wouldn’t prescribe his wife opioid painkillers and then later returned to St Joseph Rehabilitation Institute in Mishawaka.
During the confrontation in the center’s parking lot, Jarvis shot Graham twice in the head before fleeing the scene and turning the gun on himself, police said.
The incident took place on Wednesday afternoon after Jarvis and his wife Petra visited Graham at the medical center, reported the South Bend Tribune.
Petra was reportedly a new patient of Graham’s and took Jarvis with her to the appointment, looking for a remedy for her pain.
Graham allegedly informed the couple that although Petra did suffer from pain he would not prescribe an opioid painkiller.
Police claim Michael Jarvis, 48, gunned Graham down at the St Joseph Rehabilitation Institute’s parking lot (pictured). Jarvis allegedly became upset when Graham wouldn’t prescribe his wife opioids
St. Joseph County Prosecutor Ken Cotter said at a news conference: ‘He did what we ask our doctors to do. Don’t over-prescribe opioids.’
Jarvis returned to the center, allegedly without his wife’s knowledge, and approached Graham in the parking lot.
He then told two witnesses nearby to leave before shooting Graham twice, police said.
Authorities said Jarvis then fled the scene and drove to his friend’s house, mentioning ‘that he was no longer going to be around’, Cotter said.
The friend phoned police out of concern for Jarvis’ safety but the man took his own life before police arrived.
St. Joseph County Prosecutor Ken Cotter said at a news conference of Dr Graham: ‘He did what we ask our doctors to do. Don’t over-prescribe opioids’
Cotter added to WSBT 22: ‘Make no mistake, this was a person who made a choice to kill Dr. Graham. This is not a fallout from an opioid epidemic or opioid problems.
‘This was a person who made that choice.’
Police added that they fear if Jarvis had made his way inside the hospital, it could have turned into a mass shooting.
Health agencies have been continually warning of the opioid epidemic that is currently sweeping the nation.
Nearly 1.3 million Americans were hospitalized for opioid-related issues, and there was an overall 64 percent increase for inpatient stays and a 99 percent increase for emergency room treatment compared to rates from 2005.
These alarming numbers are contributing factors to the overdose epidemic, which is now the leading cause of death for people under the age of 50 in the US.