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Suspect in Newport doctor shooting talked of health problems

January 29, 2013|From the Los Angeles Times

The 75-year-old retired barber who is suspected of fatally shooting a Newport Beach urologist had health problems and complained to his neighbors about his medical issues.

Stanwood Fred Elkus would talk to residents in his Lake Elsinore neighborhood about his prostate problems and the multiple surgeries he'd had to endure, said James Lord, a technician who lives across the street from the suspect.

“He just complained,” said Lord, who served as Elkus’ unofficial handyman for years. He didn't know the extent of Elkus' health issues. “I don’t pry.”

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On Monday, Elkus was arrested on suspicion of homicide after authorities said he shot Ronald Franklin Gilbert, a physician with Orange Coast Urology in Newport Beach.

Workers say the shooting occurred in the doctor’s exam room. No motive for the shooting has been established, police said.

Dr. Richard Afable, the president of Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach where Gilbert had once been the chief of the department or urology, said that the physician was widely admired, respected and "beloved" by his colleagues.

"The Hoag Hospital family is devastated by the senseless act of violence," Afable said.

The suspect's neighbors said he lived alone, kept to himself and seemed generally pleasant.

"I wish I could have done something to help him,” Lord said.

This story was reported by Times Staff Writer Nicole Santa Cruz.

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