A 74-year-old OB/GYN is the latest blood sacrifice to our cultural inability to keep guns out of the hands of crazy people. Just like the founders intended, I guess.
Dr. Stephen Larson was murdered in his home, while on the phone with a patient, allegedly by a law school graduate who blamed the doctor for delivering him. It’s like if an ATL commenter murdered Heathcliff Huxtable. The law grad was eventually shot and killed by the police.
I cannot imagine how this person got into and all the way through law school without somebody reaching out to him and getting him the help he clearly needed. Sadly, I can totally imagine how he got his hands on a gun…
The story comes out of Minnesota. Police say that University of St. Thomas School of Law graduate Ted Hoffstrom shot and killed Larson. From CBS Minnesota:
Sources tell WCCO-TV that Larson, a 74-year-old OBGYN doctor, delivered Hoffstrom, who was born prematurely and suffered from mental and physical ailments. Hoffstrom allegedly blamed those issues on the delivery. Hoffstrom was believed to have long harbored hostility towards Larson.
At a news conference Monday afternoon, Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek said Hoffstrom had recently been vocal in expressing those hostilities. Stanek would not say, however, if Larson was aware of those feelings…
Audio from the sheriff’s dispatch reveals officers encountered a despondent Hoffstrom. Officers can be heard asking each other for a Taser. They also talk about Hoffstrom’s gun.
“Mr. Hoffstrom was armed with a semi-automatic handgun and after diligent attempts to negotiate with Mr. Hoffstrom, shots were fired. Mr. Hoffstrom died at the scene,” Stanek said.
Hoffstrom graduated from St. Thomas Law in 2009 and was living at home with his parents. Reports say that he was sworn in as an attorney three weeks ago. Reports do not say that he was employed.
We’ve talked before about what law schools can do to better identify those with mental illness. Law schools (and educational institutions in general) are in a comparatively good position to identify people suffering from mental illness, but they don’t invest money and resources to do so.
Regardless of what schools are able to do while people are on campus, once people leave, school outreach stops outside of fundraising campaigns. Here, we seem to have a guy who was not part of any community. He wasn’t in law school any more, he didn’t have a job; he was living with his parents, stewing over all the ways he perceived life had wronged him.
There are a lot of gaps in society, and it looks like this guy fell through one. Sometimes, the things that emerge from those gaps are horrifying.
Sheriff: Suspect Killed Doctor Who Helped Deliver Him [CBS Minnesota]