BRANFORD, Conn. – BRANFORD, Conn. (AP) — A doctor was charged Monday with fatally shooting a Yale University doctor and firing at the victim's pregnant wife after a history of confrontations with the victim and other colleagues that led to his dismissal from a New York hospital.
Branford police said 44-year-old Lishan Wang is charged with murder, attempted murder and firearms offenses in the fatal shooting Monday of Vajinder Toor outside his home. Police say Wang, a Chinese citizen from Beijing who was last known to be living in Marietta, Ga., also fired at Toor's wife, but she was not struck.
Wang is being held on $2 million bond. A message was left with an attorney representing him in a civil lawsuit.
Toor worked at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in New York before joining Yale. Police are investigating whether Toor and the gunman had a dispute on the job, using information provided by the victim's wife, said Lt. Geoffrey Morgan.
"We're following a hypothesis that the victim and the assailant had some sort of negative interaction at a previous employer," Morgan said, adding that police do not expect to make additional arrests.
Wang and Toor were involved in a confrontation a few years ago at Kingsbrook after Wang left his post at the intensive care unit and was not reachable for a few hours, according to a hospital employee who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing murder investigation. The employee said Toor reprimanded him and that Wang threatened Toor in front of other employees.
Wang filed a federal discrimination lawsuit last year against the hospital. He talks about a heated exchange with his supervisor in the hospital's residency program, "Dr. Vajinder," in May, 2008 after Vajinder accused him of ignoring pages and calls from hospital staff.
"An hour after this heated discussion, Dr. Vajinder then accused Dr. Wang of threatening his safety by using hostile body language, although he did not summon security to assist him," Wang's lawsuit states.
It is one of several allegations of anger and behavioral problems that Wang acknowledges he was cited for while in the program. In the lawsuit, he said he was unfairly labeled excitable, emotional and unable to control his anger.
Wang was suspended with pay on May 22, 2008, and notified by letter that the hospital had decided to propose firing him. He was told by the union that the hospital would only allow him to remain employed if he sought disability leave for mental impairment. He was fired in July.
On Monday, Toor was walking in the parking lot toward his car at Meadows condominiums, miles from the Ivy League campus, shortly before 8 a.m. when he was shot multiple times.
Wang was taken into custody on a traffic stop nearby after residents provided police with details about the suspect and his vehicle, police said.
Toor was a postdoctoral fellow at the Yale School of Medicine who was working with the infectious disease section of Yale-New Haven Hospital.
Yale Police Chief James Perrotti sent an e-mail to the university community — which was shaken in recent months by the killing of a graduate student in her lab building — saying Branford police told him the crime was not a random act and was unrelated to Yale.
Hersh Arora, a neighbor and family friend, said Toor's wife, Parneeta, had just waved goodbye to her husband and closed the door when she heard gunshots and ran outside. She saw her husband lying on the ground, saw a man with a gun and asked what he was doing.
The man started firing at her, so she hid behind a car, Arora said. A neighbor tried to perform CPR on Toor, Arora said.
The couple have a 3-year old-son, and Parneeta is five months pregnant, Arora said.
"She can't even cry in front of the kid," Arora said. "She's trying to be brave."
Wang's lawsuit claims injuries resulting from discrimination based on race, national origin and disability, and accuses the hospital of retaliation against him for investigating, disclosing and opposing the discrimination.
Wang disputes evaluations by human resources staff at Kingsbrook that he had behavioral problems and anger issues, saying he received favorable evaluations.
"Additionally, during the time period when some of his supervisors and KJMC Human Resources began to falsely characterize Dr. Wang as mentally impaired and suffering from 'anger' issues, Dr. Wang scored well on the "interpersonal skills sections of his evaluations with no mention of emotional or anger-related problems," the lawsuit states.
Another doctor, Dr. Gealda Xavier, claimed Wang had yelled at her during a phone call. Wang responded by accusing the hospital of racism.
"Dr. Xavier is not Chinese and Dr. Wang had previously complained to his supervisors that she had treated him in a rude and abusive manner. Nothing was done to address Dr. Wang's complaint. However, the committee sided with Dr. Xavier, who is not Chinese, and inappropriately attributed the perceived problems with Dr. Wang's behavior to unspecified 'family problems," the lawsuit states.
Associated Press writer Stephanie Reitz and Pat Eaton-Robb in Hartford contributed to this report