NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) – A retired barber accused of fatally shooting a California urologist was a patient who had an appointment with the victim and brought the gun with him to the exam room, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Stanwood Fred Elkus, 75, was charged with murder in the Monday attack that killed Dr. Ronald Gilbert.
The 52-year-old doctor was shot multiple times in the upper body at his office in the affluent city of Newport Beach in suburban Orange County.
Elkus, of Lake Elsinore, appeared in court Wednesday afternoon wearing an orange jumpsuit with his hands in his pockets, and told a judge he couldn’t afford an attorney.
Superior Court Judge Craig Robinson postponed his arraignment until March 5, and said Elkus would be assigned a public defender in the interim. He was being held without bail.
Elkus had appeared at the office seeking an appointment on Friday, though it was not clear with which of the three doctors who worked at the Orange Coast Urology Group, said Matt Murphy, the deputy district attorney prosecuting the case.
Elkus was told he could be squeezed into Gilbert’s schedule on Monday, when he waited in the exam room with a handgun before opening fire when the doctor walked in, Murphy said.
He then gave the gun to another staff member at the medical office and was arrested quietly, authorities said.
Investigators have found no evidence that Gilbert ever treated Elkus prior to the appointment, Murphy said.
Elkus had long suffered from prostate problems and was upset about his incontinence after a recent surgery, his neighbors said. It wasn’t clear who performed the surgery.
Elkus’ health problems left him running for the bathroom constantly, sometimes in mid-conversation, neighbors said.
“One day we were talking about other things outside and he says, `Oh hold it right there!’ and he was rushing to his house and when he came back, he said, `I have a problem with my prostate,'” recalled Miguel Soto, who lives across the street.
“He said, `I had surgery and now I am worse than before the surgery.'”
Another neighbor, James Lord, said Elkus mentioned Sunday that “he wasn’t going to be around much longer.”
“I told him, `No Stan, you’re gonna outlive me,'” Lord said.
Gilbert worked in general urology, sexual dysfunction and related surgical techniques, including vasectomies, bladder and prostate cancer, according to his biography on the website of Orange Coast Urology, which he joined in 1993.
One of his specialties involved using a laser to vaporize prostate tissue blocking the urinary tract.
The biography said Gilbert had been a stockbroker and a singer in a rock band. He had worked for 20 years at Hoag Hospital and was its former urology chief.
Jablon reported from Los Angeles. Associated Press writer Shaya Tayefe Mohajer in Newport Beach and AP researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York City contributed to this report.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Skin Cancer in Arizona: Stats, facts and new immunotherapy drugs making strides
- Caring Crisis: Rising tide In Alzheimer’s disease leads to shortage of caregivers
- Distracted walking injuries end up not so funny
- Scary situations: 5 quick tips before you let a contractor in your home
- Four ways telemedicine is changing the health care industry
- 5 mistakes homeowners make in the spring
- Three rivers run through it: Exploring Arizona's waterways
- Smart home basics: things you need to know to get started
- 5 Surprising things causing back pain
- Arizona agriculture is a $17.1B industry
- Timeline: Arizona's roots in brewing history
- 5 reasons to love the D-backs this season
- Tips for taking your home entertainment experience to the backyard
- Tech-related injuries your parents never experienced
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain