Colleagues said goodbye to Michael Davidson, the victim of a shooting at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, at a memorial service Wednesday morning. Led by the hospital’s president, Elizabeth Nabel, 150 colleagues dressed in scrubs placed roses at the hospital’s flagpole in honor of the surgeon.
Davidson, a 44-year-old cardiovascular surgeon, was allegedly shot twice by Stephen Pasceri of Millbury, who then killed himself with the same gun. Davidson died of his injuries at the hospital on Wednesday.
Police are not sure why the suspect targeted Davidson. Pasceri’s actions also took family members by surprise, according to the Boston Herald. Marguerite Joly, Pasceri’s sister, told the Herald that Davidson prescribed medication for the suspect’s mother, Marguerite Pasceri. Margeurite Pasceri died in November.
Gregory Pasceri, the suspect’s brother, spoke of possible motives to the Boston Globe:
Stephen D. Pasceri apparently “lost it” and fatally shot a cardiovascular surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital because he suspected that medication his mother took during her most recent illness led to her death two months ago, Pasceri’s brother said Wednesday.
Gregory Pasceri said that in a meeting with his family last month, his brother said he believed the medication had “toxic side effects” and could cause pulmonary bleeding, which would have been devastating for their mother, given her past lung problems.
Authorities have not disclosed a motive in the killing. But Gregory believes his brother felt so betrayed over the medication that he walked into the hospital Tuesday morning and shot Dr. Michael J. Davidson before taking his own life.
Although police responded to the shots swiftly and secured the hospital within 16 minutes, this incident has raised questions about hospital security, Fox News reported:
Betsy Nabel, the hospital’s president, said Brigham and Women’s will evaluate its safety protocols. She said there have been no discussions about installing metal detectors, which none of the city’s hospitals have.
Dr. Ron Walls, Brigham’s chief operating officer, echoed Nabel in an interview with WBUR:
“There is no amount of preparation anyone can do that completely eliminates the prospect of this kind of tragic event happening,” Walls said. “But we do believe we have a responsibility, and we’re working hard to meet that responsibility to have all of our people completely prepared in the best way we can so that when something like this happens — if it happens, and whatever happens — our staff is able to respond.”
The 44-year-old victim was an integral part of the hospital community, according to WBUR:
“He was a visionary, and he saw what was coming down the pike and he knew that we were going to be taking care of very complex patients in a completely different manner than we had ever thought about doing,” Dr. Pinak Shah, a Brigham doctor, said later Wednesday.
Davidson’s funeral will be held at Temple Beth Elohim, 10 Bethel Rd., in Wellesley at 10 a.m. Friday.