CMHU releases name of suspect in fatal shooting of Dr. Graham
The County Metro Homicide Unit has released the name of the man who is suspected of killing Dr. Todd Graham on Wednesday just before 1 p.m. in the parking lot of the St. Joseph Rehabilitation Institute off Elm Road.
The suspect has been identified as 48-year-old Michael Jarvis.
CMHU Commander Tim Corbett said he believed if Jarvis had gotten inside the building, there could have been a mass shooting situation.
"This was a very targeted attack. I'm a very firm believer as is Ken that if Jarvis would have gotten inside the building, although it would have been a specific target, it's like trapping an animal inside that building. I truly believe it would have escalated into a mass shooting," Corbett said.
He believes the confrontation before the shooting was over pain medication for Jarvis' wife.
At a 10:45 a.m. appointment, Dr. Graham saw Jarvis' wife and said he would not prescribe pain medication for her. Jarvis' wife had not been prescribed opioids before, but Jarvis thought she needed them.
Jarvis argued with Dr. Graham about this during the appointment.
Just before 1 p.m., Graham was leaving the South Bend Orthopaedics building to go to the Rehabilitation Institute and there was another confrontation with Jarvis.
Jarvis followed Dr. Graham to the rehab building, police said.
There were two people in close proximity to Jarvis and Graham and Jarvis told them to leave the area - and then they saw a gun.
Jarvis shot Graham in the head twice, then drove to his friend's home on Valley Trail.
Jarvis called his friend and made some statements that concerned the friend so the friend called police.
Before law enforcement could arrive, Jarvis had committed suicide by shooting himself.
Autopsies on Jarvis and Graham have been completed.
Jarvis died of two gunshot wounds and his death was a suicide.
Dr. Graham also had two gunshot wounds.
St. Joseph County Prosecutor Ken Cotter said the shooting was the result of a man who made the decision to kill another person. It may open a discussion about opioids, but this was not a direct result of opioids.
"This was a person who made a choice to kill Dr. Graham. This is not fallout from any opioid epidemic or opioid problems. This was a person who made that choice. That probably leads us to an examination of what's happening with the opioid problem in our community and our whole nation. I know our Indiana State Medical Association is working very strongly on trying to address that problem. But today we're talking about a man who made a choice to kill another person. We're not talking about the opioid problem. That's certainly something we need to address. Was that a contributing factor in his decision? We don't know that yet. We have our own suppositions but I don't want to talk about something I don’t know for sure. I do know for sure that Jarvis made that choice to kill Dr. Graham and that's why we're here today," said Prosecutor Cotter.
Cotter added he has received phone calls from doctors not only about safety, but about how they can start a dialogue with the law enforcement community about dealing with the opioid epidemic.
"If this is part of that, this is a clear indication it's not just a doctor issue, it's not just a law enforcement issue, it's our whole community issue and certainly it's law enforcement talking with and helping our medical professionals so we can best treat these folks," Cotter said.