National

who shot doctor distraught over mom

BALTIMORE — Paul Warren Pardus spent restless nights with his ailing mother at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and when he believed doctors had failed her, he decided he would determine her fate.

The 50-year-old, distraught over his mother's medical condition, shot her physician Thursday morning at Johns Hopkins Hospital before turning the gun on his mother and himself. The doctor survived, Pardus and his mother did not.

Pardus had spent a lot of time at the hospital since last week, where his 84-year-old mother, Jean Davis, had undergone surgery related to cancer treatment. When physician David Cohen delivered bad news, Pardus pulled a semi-automatic handgun from his waistband, shot Cohen in the abdomen and ran into his mother's hospital room.

A four-hour standoff ensued, in which some parts of the sprawling East Baltimore campus were locked down and others were evacuated. Snipers took to the roofs, as people in surrounding buildings were ordered away from windows and to draw the blinds.

But Pardus and Davis were dead the whole time, investigators think. After sending in a robot with a camera, they discovered the bodies — the bedridden Davis with a gunshot wound to the back of the head, Pardus on the floor, shot through the mouth.

Several Hopkins personnel, some who worked on the eighth floor of the Nelson building, said that Pardus blamed Cohen for paralyzing his mother during surgery. According to one witness who spoke with detectives, he yelled, "You ruined my mother."

"He thought it was (the doctor's) fault, but it wasn't," said a nurse, who did not want to give his name because staff at the hospital was discouraged from discussing the incident with news media.

Little was known about Pardus, a resident of Arlington, Va. He had identified himself to hospital staff as Warren Davis, his middle name and mother's last name. Records show he had a permit to carry a concealed weapon in Virginia, and he did not appear to have a criminal record beyond traffic violations.

In 1998, he filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and a website lists him as the holder of a copyright for a screenplay and lyrics to a song called "I Love the Lord."

His mother and other relatives appeared to live in rural Virginia.

Police Commissioner Frederick Bealefeld said that tactical teams, which included the Baltimore city police and SWAT teams, the FBI, and Baltimore County SWAT teams, were called in, and had set up a command center within 45 minutes after the incident.

"By all evaluations, everything worked as designed," Bealefeld said.

Cohen was reported as stable as of Thursday night.

  Comments