A doctor who was killed in a violent attack at a walk-in clinic in central Alberta is being remembered as a devoted family man who was well-liked by patients.
Dr. Peter Bouch says members of Red Deer’s medical community are feeling shaken a day after the death of his colleague, Dr. Walter Reynolds.
Bouch says Reynolds was proud of his two young daughters and was a dedicated physician.
He says he and Reynolds worked at different clinics, but were both part of a tight-knit community of doctors in Red Deer who are originally from South Africa.
RCMP Supt. Gerald Grobmeier has said staff and patients were in the Village Mall Walk-In Clinic yesterday for what he called an isolated, but extremely brazen crime.
A witness told media outlets that it was her family doctor who was slain by someone allegedly with a hammer and machete.
Bouch said physicians are feeling vulnerable.
“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 in an interview Tuesday.
“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 issue 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.”
Mounties have said a suspect is in custody and they anticipate charges will be laid. A news conference was to take place later Tuesday.
Grobmeier also said one officer was struck with a blunt weapon during the arrest, and was treated for minor injuries.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise funds for the education of Reynolds’ daughters. By late morning Tuesday, it had raised close to $64,000.
“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.”
— The Canadian Press