CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A former MIT professor and multimillionaire businessman who has been praised for his riveting lectures but also known for his family disputes was ambushed outside his office and shot multiple times, authorities said Saturday.
John J. Donovan was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital after the shooting Friday night and later released, hospital spokesman Arch MacInnes said Saturday.
The 63-year-old founder of consulting firm Cambridge Executive Enterprises was shot several times, and it wasn't immediately clear why he wasn't more seriously injured, police spokesman Frank Pasquarello said. He didn't know if Donovan was wearing a bulletproof vest but said a belt buckle may have helped saved his life.
"There was something in his belt buckle — a bullet or a fragment," Pasquarello said.
Donovan described the shooter only as "a white male," Pasquarello said.
The former professor called 911 himself after he was shot while in a parking lot outside his company's office near the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus, Pasquarello said. Donovan was found inside a white minivan. The parking lot is gated and in an isolated area. It did not have security cameras.
Police were investigating but hadn't made any arrests Saturday or determined a motive, Pasquarello said.
There was no immediate comment from Donovan. Calls to his business were not returned Saturday and no telephone could be located for his home in Hamilton.
Donovan, who is worth an estimated $100 million, has been in a dispute with his children, claiming they are trying to force him out of his home.
A statement issued Saturday by a representative of Donovan's three daughters and one of his two sons said they were "shocked and saddened by the incident."
"It raise concerns about the safety of all of our family members," they said. "We are cooperating with the investigation, and we have no further information at this time."
In 2002, one of Donovan's daughters, who was not identified, alleged in a court affidavit that Donovan sexually abused her as a child. Donovan responded in his own affidavit that the allegation was "absolutely false."
Donovan was educated at Yale, MIT and Tufts. He became a tenured professor at MIT, where he taught electrical engineering and management, and also taught pediatrics at Tufts Medical School. Donovan left teaching to go into private business, where he started several companies, many of them technology related.
His current firm trains executives on how to use technology in business. He is known as a fascinating lecturer and The New York Times has called him the "Johnny Carson of the training circuit."