On Monday, at about 2:45 p.m., a man allegedly fatally shot a Newport Beach doctor inside an exam room at Hoag Health Center. Investigators have arrested a suspect who they believe was a longtime patient of the Urologist Dr. Ronald Gilbert, 52, of Huntington Beach. Dr. Gilbert was shot six to seven times in the torso on the building’s second floor. He was declared dead at the scene. Employees say a man suspected of fatally shooting a Newport Beach doctor inside an exam room was his longtime patient.
According to the Newport Beach Police Department, the suspect has remained cooperative throughout the investigation. As of now, the suspect’s motive is unclear and investigators have searched the suspect’s home for new evidence that might help uncover a motive. But as of Tuesday morning, the circumstances leading up to Gilbert’s death remained unclear.
Newport Beach police would not elaborate on how the suspect and doctor knew each other but Gilbert’s coworkers say the suspect was the doctor’s longtime patient. Gilbert was a husband and a father of two. He was set to celebrate his 53rd birthday Wednesday.
The suspect, a retired barber, has lived in the same home in Lake Elsinore for 20 years. Neighbors described him as a friendly man who in recent years complained of prostate problems. He underwent surgery at least twice.
Hoag Hospital President and CEO Dr. Richard Afable said neither the suspect nor other patients filed complaints in the past involving Gilbert. In a statement earlier Tuesday, Afable expressed the devastation the Hospital has felt after Dr. Gilbert’s death and sent condolences to Dr. Gilbert’s family, staff, friends, patients, employees and medical staff.
The suspect is being held on $1 million bail and is scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday.
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