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Man charged with first-degree murder of doctor at medical clinic

Charges in doctor killing

UPDATE 12:35 p.m.

RCMP say a fatal attack on a doctor at a busy walk-in clinic in central Alberta was targeted and pre-planned.

Deng Mabiour of Red Deer, Alta., is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Dr. Walter Reynolds, a 45-year-old father of two.

The 54-year-old suspect is also charged with assault with a weapon and assaulting a police officer.

"This was not a random attack and was targeted. I want to recognize the many individuals that demonstrated bravery yesterday," RCMP Supt. Gerald Grobmeier said Tuesday.

"Dr. Reynolds' colleagues as well as members of the public in the clinic acted quickly to come to the aid of the victim and to minimize harm to others."

Grobmeier said RCMP received a 911 call reporting an assault in progress at the Village Mall Walk-in Clinic just after 11 a.m. Monday.

Reynolds was rushed to hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Grobmeier would not say what weapons were used in the slaying, but a witness told media outlets that a man had a machete and hammer.

Mabiour was arrested at the scene.

Grobmeier said there were 13 people in the clinic at the time and that a city bus was made available to take them to the RCMP detachment to give statements.

He said Reynolds and Mabiour knew each other through the clinic. The officer would not say whether the accused was a patient, citing confidentiality.

He also declined to discuss a possible motive to ensure Mabiour receives a fair trial.

One officer was struck with a blunt weapon during the arrest and was treated for minor injuries, Grobmeier added.

"Obviously he's struggling emotionally with what happened yesterday, so that officer is at home recovering."

Court documents detailing the charges against Mabiour say he is accused of carrying, using or threatening to use a "machete or an imitation" against Dr. Stephen Nel, another physician listed as working at the clinic.

Grobmeier said that doctor was not physically harmed.

Dr. Peter Bouch, who works at another Red Deer clinic, said members of the city's medical community feel shaken.

He described Reynolds as a "very dedicated husband, father to two daughters, very dedicated physician ... just an all-around good guy really."

Bouch said he and Reynolds were both part of a tight-knit community of doctors in Red Deer who are originally from South Africa.

"It's a shock to the whole of Red Deer, not only to the physicians, but also to the many medical staff that work in our clinics," he said.

"And I think a lot of them are looking over their shoulder today and are quite anxious."

Bouch said he has heard concerns from other physicians in the city about aggression from patients, though none of those cases have been as extreme as Reynolds' slaying.

He said the aggression can't be pinpointed to any one cause.

"I think some of us need to speak to the mayor and we need to speak to the RCMP and try and figure out a way of making our exam rooms, our offices, a safe place — both for patients and for ourselves."

A GoFundMe page was set up to raise funds for the education of Reynolds' daughters. By early Tuesday afternoon, it had raised $80,000.

"He was a devout father to two amazing young daughters and a loving husband," wrote fundraiser organizer Johan Myburgh.

"He loved to run, be healthy and, most of all, spend time with his family."

Outside the clinic Tuesday was a growing display of flowers and cards, along with a photo of a smiling Reynolds.

"He will be truly missed by his wife and kids, co-workers and staff and all his patients. May you rest in peace," read a message on the photo.


ORIGINAL 6:30 a.m.

Police say they anticipate charges will be laid after a man was killed in a violent attack at a medical clinic in central Alberta yesterday.

A witness told media outlets that it was her family doctor who was slain at the walk-in clinic in Red Deer, and that the suspect had a hammer and a machete.

Supt. Gerald Grobmeier held a news conference last night but wouldn't confirm details.

He says a suspect is in custody and charges are likely.

Grobmeier says other staff and patients were in the Village Mall Walk-In Clinic at the time of the attack and will likely suffer trauma because of what they saw.

He describes it as an isolated but extremely brazen crime.

"I am sickened to learn that a member of our community died in such a violent tragedy," Grobmeier said.

"My heart goes out to the family ... no one expects that."

He said one officer was struck with a blunt weapon during the arrest, and was treated for minor injuries.

Premier Jason Kenney and Health Minister Tyler Shandro both tweeted that they were saddened to hear about the fatal attack on the doctor.

Dr. Christine Molnar, president of the Alberta Medical Association, said in a statement that the organization will be reaching out to local medical staff for support.



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