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Lake Elsinore man named in fatal shooting of Newport Beach doctor

A 75-year-old Lake Elsinore man was named Tuesday as the suspect in the fatal shooting of a Newport Beach doctor in his exam room.

Stanwood Fred Elkus was arrested Monday on suspicion of homicide after authorities were called to the doctor's office on a shooting report, Newport Beach Police Department officials said in a statement.

The victim, Ronald Franklin Gilbert, 52, of Huntington Beach was shot multiple times in the upper body and was pronounced dead at the scene. No one else was injured.

Elkus was arrested at the scene. Residents in his Lake Elsinore neighborhood were shocked by the news.

Sherry Martin, 58, said Elkus, a thin man who always wore a baseball cap, was known for riding his bike around the Riverside County neighborhood.

“He did everything on his bicycle,” she said Tuesday, adding Elkus was a retired barber who would sometimes offer haircuts to neighbors.

Elkus asked his neighbor James Lord to fix the brake pedal on his car Sunday, Lord said. After Lord was done fixing the pedal, he said Elkus gave him $10 and wanted to let Lord keep the tool he used.

Lord tried to refuse the money and tool and remembered Elkus saying something like, “I’m not going to be alive much longer.” Lord told Elkus he would pray for him.

“I always tried to leave him with a positive note,” Lord said.

Lord said Elkus sometimes complained about his health problems and frequently visited the doctor.

“He didn’t really seem disconnected or anything," he said.

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-- Nicole Santa Cruz

 
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