Suspect ID’d in Fatal Shooting of Newport Doctor
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (KTLA) –A 75-year-old man from Lake Elsinore has been arrested in the fatal shooting of a doctor inside his medical office in Newport Beach.
It happened around 2:45 p.m. Monday at the Hoag Health Center at 520 Superior Ave., near Hoag Hospital, according to the Newport Beach Police Department.
The victim, 52-year-old urologist Dr. Ronald Gilbert, was gunned down inside his medical practice, Orange Coast Urology, on the second floor of the building.
Police say Gilbert was shot six to seven times in the upper torso. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The suspect and the victim were still inside the office when officers arrived, police said.
The suspect has been identified as Fred Elkus, 75, of Lake Elsinore, who is described as a longtime patient of Gilbert’s.
He was arrested without incident and is being held on $1 million bail. Arrest records listed his profession as a barber.
“We will be investigating the relationship between the suspect and the victim, as well as a possible motive,” said police spokeswoman Kathy Lowe.
At the suspect’s home on Laguna Avenue in Lake Elsinore, police put up crime scene tape and were waiting on a search warrant on Monday night, with plans to search the residence.
Neighbors said Elkus had been suffering from some kind of medical problem involving his prostate.
“He was always complaining of being sick and going to the doctor and stuff like that. He had prostate problems,” neighbor Sherry Martin said.
“I know he didn’t like his doctor becasue of his prostate problem,” said another neighbor, James Lord. “He was always going there every weekend or once a month or something.”
Meantime, people who knew Gilbert say they’re stunned by what happened.
“I couldn’t imagine what a 70-year-old man could possibly do to Dr. Gilbert, he’s the best there is,” said Dr. Jeffrey Lauber, whose office is two doors down.
“I’ve got goosebumps all over. It’s worse than hives,” he added. “I can’t believe… I’ve known Ron personally for about 20 years… This is not a good thing.”
Gilbert was a graduate of UCI College of Medicine in 1987, and had been a practicing physician and surgeon since 1989, according to the California Medical Board.
The website for Orange Coast Urology said he was married and had two children. He would have been celebrating his 53rd birthday Wednesday.