Petra Jarvis was a new patient of Dr. Todd Graham. During her Wednesday morning appointment, the doctor informed Petro and her husband, Michael, that he would not prescribe her opioids even though she was complaining of pain.
St. Joseph County Prosecutor Ken Cotter said at a news conference that Graham "did what we ask our doctors to do … Don't over-prescribe opioids."
Later that afternoon Michael, 48, returned to the St. Joseph Health System's Rehabilitation Center and shot the 56-year-old physician twice in the head after a brief argument in the parking lot. Jarvis then drove to a friend’s house three miles away and according to Cotter, "called the friend to let the friend know that he was leaving certain items and he indicated to him, at least through the information that we have, that he was going to commit suicide and if he hadn't committed suicide, he was going to."
Petra was not with Michael at the time of the shooting and was not aware of her husband’s plans.
The South Bend Tribune reports that after his friend called the police, authorities later found Michael dead of two self-inflicted gunshot wounds outside his friend’s house. Jarvis’ red Dodge Neon was still parked at the home as of Thursday.
"Make no mistake, this is a person who made a choice to kill Dr. Graham," Cotter said. "That probably leads us into an examination of what is happening with the opioid problem in our community, and frankly, our whole nation."
Tim Corbett, Metro Homicide commander, said the incident could have been much worse had Jarvis entered the complex, saying, "If Jarvis would have gotten inside that building, although there would have been a specific target, it's like trapping an animal in a corner: they're going to come out fighting, and I truly believe this could have escalated into a mass shooting."
A Notre Dame staff directory lists Jarvis as working in "football parking, parking services access, on call seasonal greenskeeper, golf course operations," and lists Petra as a dining room server at the campus hotel, The Morris Inn.
A statement by university spokesman Paul Brown said that Jarvis’ "brutal death is shocking to us all, we extend our condolences to his family and friends. Our prayers are with them."
WNDU quoted Graham’s friend and business partner Dr. A.J. Mencias saying Graham had "dedicated his life to taking care of people and that's the sad, sad part of this whole thing."
"His personality was electric. He lit up a room anytime he walked into the room … I could tell you the one thing we all have joked about is that Todd Graham will be the best dressed man in heaven."
Graham had been practicing for 31 years. St. Joseph Health System held a prayer service for him on Thursday.