Retired Barber Who Shot Urologist Complained of Failing Health

The retired California barber is set to be arraigned for homicide.

ByABC News
January 30, 2013, 12:19 PM

Jan. 30, 2013 — -- The retired California barber set to be arraigned today on homicide charges after he allegedly shot a prominent urologist dead in his exam room, had complained about his failing health, neighbors said.

Investigators are not sure why Stanwood Fred Elkus, 75, shot Dr. Ronald Franklin Gilbert, 52, of Newport Beach, Calif., multiple times in the chest Monday afternoon when Elkus showed up for an appointment.

"The suspect was calm. He was in the room, and the officers were able to take him into custody without any kind of incident at all," said Kathy Lowe, a spokeswoman for the Newport Beach Police Department.

Callers to 911 reported hearing seven or eight shots ring out at about 2:45 p.m. Monday, police said. Lowe said that Gilbert appeared to be the only target of the attack.

Elkus was jailed on $1 million bail.

Detectives found a handgun at the scene of the shooting, and found additional evidence at Elkus' home in Lake Elsinore, the Associated Press reported.

Neighbors told ABC News that Elkus had often complained about his failing health. On his voicemail, he said that he had only 50 percent of his hearing. He reportedly told one neighbor the night before the shooting, "I'm not going to be alive much longer."

"HIs prostate," neighbor Larry Luiz said. "He had a lot of problems, and the operation he thought harmed him."

Elkus had undergone prostate surgery, the AP reported, but it's unclear whether Gilbert had ever treated Elkus. Lowe said officers had searched Elkus' home and found evidence that might point to a possible motive, ABC owned station KABC reported.

The Hoag Health Center, where the shooting occurred, was put on lockdown after the shooting, but the building reopened Tuesday.

Gilbert, who had appeared in television ads, had been on staff at the Hoag Health Center for almost 20 years. He worked in the areas of general urology and sexual dysfunction. He performed vasectomies, and surgery for bladder and prostate cancer.

"That's probably the worst part, is that we get into this field to deal with these people, and they end up taking it back on us," said Dr. Brenton Alexander, a medical intern at Hoag Health Center.

ABC News' Erin McLaughlin and Abbie Boudreau contributed to this report.