Medical office denies gunman’s allegation
January 8, 2014
RENO — The Nevada medical office where a gunman killed one doctor and shot another before committing suicide says it has completed an internal review of his care and treatment and found no basis for his claims he was the victim of a botched vasectomy that "ruined his life."
Reno police are aware of Urology Nevada's internal review, but they are continuing to investigate and have yet to reach a similar conclusion, investigators said Wednesday.
"We are aware of this information and are thoroughly researching it as part of our ongoing investigation," Lt. William Rulla told The Associated Press.
Alan Oliver Frazier, 51, made it clear in a suicide note left at his home in a small Sierra Nevada town about 120 miles northwest of Reno that he was targeting physicians in the Dec. 17 office attack that killed Dr. Charles G. Gholdoian, critically wounded Dr. Christine Lajeunesse and seriously wounded the mother of a patient, police said.
Frazier complained of pain and fatigue for years in an Internet chat room and to neighbors— symptoms he apparently blamed on the vasectomy.
"We are aware of Mr. Frazier's allegations and his postings on the group website, and these are additional items our investigators are working through," Rulla said.
Investigators confirmed two weeks ago they were looking into an ex-fiancee's claims Frazier suffered from mental illness in the 1990s, and were investigating online posts Frazier made about the pain he said he suffered for more than three years after having a vasectomy in 2010. They've released little information since.
Doctors at Urology Nevada posted an open letter on the office website this week with a brief reference to its internal review, noting that "research reported by national experts on vasectomy refutes his claims."
"We find no basis to support any of the allegations made by this individual regarding his care or treatment," they wrote.
Dr. David Berry, president of Urology Nevada, said Wednesday there were "no local symptoms from the vasectomy" performed on Frazier in the office three years ago.
"He describes in his postings systemic symptoms, which occurred much after the vasectomy," Berry told AP on Wednesday. "In terms of a surgical procedure itself, one can safely say it was not botched."
Frazier told patients to leave or he'd shoot them after he entered the office last month on the campus of Renown Regional Medical Center and soon began firing a pistol-grip, 12-gauge shotgun, according to 911 tapes. One male witness told a dispatcher the shooter said he was angry because "he had a vasectomy here, and they ruined his life."
Berry said 30 years of research has found no direct connection between a vasectomy and subsequent long-term illness.
"The preponderance of evidence and the conclusion of the investigators and the opinion of the field is that currently there is no evidence that a vasectomy causes any long-term health problems," he said.
Dr. Ira Sharlip, a professor of urology at the University of California, San Francisco, agrees.
"There are many very large studies that show that a vasectomy is not a risk factor for any longer-term health problems, and that's very clear," Sharlip recently told the Reno Gazette-Journal.