NJ doctor kills former colleague he apparently blamed for dismissal, then commits suicide

  • Article by: ANDREW DUFFELMEYER , Associated Press
  • Updated: April 11, 2012 - 4:37 PM

VOORHEES, N.J. - A doctor fatally shot a former colleague Wednesday whom he apparently blamed for his dismissal from a residency program over a year ago, then killed himself minutes later when police stopped his car.

Dr. Payman Houshmandpour, 32, a medical resident, was gunned down in his car Wednesday morning as he was pulling out of his parking spot at an upscale apartment complex in a Philadelphia suburb on his way to work at Virtua health system.

Giocondo Navek, 39, was waiting for the doctor to leave his home when he approached the car and fired several times, then sped away in his own vehicle, said Jason Laughlin, a spokesman for the county prosecutor.

A neighbor provided a detailed description of the getaway vehicle, and when police stopped Navek about a mile away and ordered him to make his hands visible, he killed himself, Laughlin said.

The mother of Navek's longtime girlfriend said Navek blamed Houshmandpour for what she called his dismissal from a residency program at Virtua.

Officials at Virtua would not comment on the reason for his departure, only that he left the program a year to a year and a half ago. State records showed he still had a residency permit.

Authorities said that the two men were acquainted through work but that they had not established a motive.

Forogh Mozaffari said her daughter broke up with Navek, who lived in Williamstown, about two weeks ago.

After leaving Virtua, Navek served in the Army Reserve in Georgia, then North Carolina, she said. The Army Reserve confirmed he was working as a medical doctor but would not provide any other details.

Houshmandpour was married and had a daughter. He worked at various locations and in various medical and surgical rotations for Virtua, which has a hospital in Voorhees.

Neighbors reported hearing gunshots, then looking outdoors and seeing a car with its window shot out and a person slumped inside.

When Houshmandpour's body was removed from his car, neighbor Jill Bernstein said she saw he had gunshot wounds.

"He was so nice. They were very nice people," she said.

Neighbor Ron Gorman said he heard a car speed away after the gunshots.

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