St. Joseph County Prosecutor Ken Cotter said at a news conference on Thursday that Mishawaka resident, Michael Jarvis had shot Dr. Todd Graham, 56, to death after he refused to prescribe opioids for his wife.

Man asks for opioid prescription for his wife and is refused

It happened in Mishawaka, northern Indiana on Wednesday when Jarvis visited South Bend Orthopedics for an appointment to ask Dr. Graham for a prescription for highly-addictive opioid painkillers for his wife. Cotter said at a media conference that the doctor turned him down, adding that Dr. Graham had done what they are asking doctors to do – not over-prescribe opioid drugs.

Jarvis returns to the medical complex and shoots Dr. Graham to death

According to the prosecutor, it was around two hours later that Jarvis returned to the medical campus, fatally shooting Dr. Graham in the parking lot of the St. Joseph Rehabilitation Institute next door to the orthopedic center. As reported by the South Bend Tribune, there was first an argument between Jarvis and the doctor in the parking lot which led Jarvis to tell two witnesses at the scene to leave, prior to shooting the doctor twice in the head.

Cotter said Jarvis then left the scene, driving to a friend’s house around three miles away, where he told his friends he wasn’t going to be around for a while.

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That friend then alerted the police about the incident, who then headed to Jarvis’ home, only to find the shooter had turned the gun on himself and had died from two self-inflicted gunshot wounds.

Incident could have been worse if Jarvis entered the facility

According to Metro Homicide Commander Tim Corbett, the shooting could have turned into a far more serious situation if Jarvis had entered the medical facility. Corbett said even though Jarvis had a specific target in mind, it would have been similar to trapping an animal into a corner, saying they would “come out fighting.” He said he truly believed the situation might have escalated into a mass shooting.

According to Cotter, the shooter's wife, Petra Jarvis, reportedly had no idea about the incident and that her husband had shot and killed the doctor.

Doctor was highly respected in the community

As reported by the New York Daily News, Dr. Graham leaves a wife, Julie, and three children. He had been running his medical business for 22 years and was highly respected in the community. Partners valued him both as a physician and businessman and for his friendship.