Cockeysville Doctor Wounded in Hopkins Shooting

Dr. David B. Cohen of Hunt Valley has been identified as the surgeon shot by a man angry over the medical care his mother had received.

UPDATED (8:35 P.M.)Dr. David B. Cohen, the doctor who was shot Thursday at Johns Hopkins Hospital in East Baltimore, appears to be a Cockeysville resident who works for a practice that has offices in Towson, Lutherville, White Marsh and elsewhere. 

 A Johns Hopkins Hospital spokeswoman said she could "not confirm nor deny" the doctor's identity. But news reports today stated Cohen was the wounded surgeon shot by an Arlington, VA, man upset over his mother's medical care, a Baltimore police spokesman said. 

Public records indicate that an orthopedic doctor named David B. Cohen lives in Hunt Valley, but no one appeared to be home when a Patch reporter visited the residence. And neighbors were unaware of the morning shooting of Dr. Cohen, who is expected to survive.

Neighbors of the shooter, identified by police as Paul Warren Pardus, 50, of the 2100 block of South Kenmore Street in Arlington, were shocked to learn of the incident. One neighbor told Patch that Pardus was constantly caring for his mother, identified as Jean Davis.

"She'd been sick, in and out of the hospital, but he was always there for her. That's how it seemed," said Teresa Green, Pardus' next door neighbor. "He practically lived out of the hospital with his mom.

"This is a mind blower," Green added. "We could never see that coming. He seemed like a really decent man and he seemed to take good care of her."

Apparently, however, Pardus snapped and pulled a gun on Dr. Cohen after talking to him about his mother's condition. He shot Dr. Cohen in the abdomen before eventually killing his mother and himself. 

One of Dr. Cohen's patients, Susan Revello of Rockville, MD, praised the doctor for his treatment of her. She said his surgical skills changed her life. Dr. Cohen operated on Revello, 48, three times since 2001. The first surgery, an operation on her lower back, changed her life, she said in an interview with Patch.

Revello said Dr. Cohen figured out what was wrong with her in 10 minutes after she had languished in pain for months in Florida, where doctors were unable to pinpoint her problem. 

"I could barely walk. He was a life-changer for me," said Revello, who said Dr. Cohen had at least one child, a daughter. "I cried when I heard it was him."

She said she wants people to pray for him because he was "the answer to my prayers." She said he was a very serious doctor who was accessible at all hours and frequently called her to keep her updated and informed. 

"He tends to be serious," she said. "He's not someone who's going to tell jokes. It was always fun to get him to laugh."  

Many of Dr. Cohen's neighbors were unaware of the incident that took place this morning. Jennifer Wickwier, who lives three houses down from the Cohens in Cockeysville, was shocked to find out what happened. She said she learned of the incident while at a doctor's appointment in Towson.

"It's very sad and just really upsetting to know that it's somebody so close to where I live … But I don't know them personally," Wickwier said. "They're very private people." 

Dr. Cohen's friends on Facebook were already sending messages to a Facebook page that may or may not have been set up for the doctor. 

"Urgent prayer request," Revello wrote. "My orthopedic surgeon was shot today at Johns Hopkins. He underwent surgery and I pray for a complete recovery."

Another poster, who asked that his name not be used, wrote: "Cohen is a gifted surgeon, a mild-mannered family man, and a caring physician who has helped me much over the years, and who was even this week looking for additional ways to ease my pain. He and his family will be in our thoughts and prayers."

The shooting happened at 11:11 a.m. on the eighth floor of the Nelson Building on the Hopkins medical campus, police said. The building was quickly placed on lockdown and authorities, including a Baltimore County SWAT team, police snipers and the FBI, swarmed the scene.

Baltimore police initially identified the shooter as Warren Davis, but later said that was an alias. Police then identified him as Pardus.

Police say Pardus shot the doctor in the upper abdomen, barricaded himself in a room with his mother and  later killed her and himself.

Another one of Pardus' neighbors, Ronald Day, said Pardus lived in his neighborhood for "six or seven years."

"I know he worked for Metro Access and they used to pull up here and help his mom out," Day said. "We haven't seen him since May or June."

Though originally listed in critical condition, Dr. Cohen is expected to survive.

According to the Maryland Board of Physicians and the hospital's website, Dr. Cohen is an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

He is a graduate of the University of Rochester and Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Cohen is part of the large orthopedic program at Hopkins, which has locations in Towson, Lutherville, White Marsh, Odenton and Columbia, in addition to the main Hopkins medical campuses in East Baltimore and Highlandtown.

According to the hospital's website, Dr. Cohen's research interests include spinal surgery and osteoporosis.

He graduated in 1990 and has been licensed in Maryland since 1995, according to the Board of Physicians. The board's website reports no malpractice claims or disciplinary actions against him.

Since incidents like the shootings at Columbine High School and Virginia Tech, Johns Hopkins Hospital officials said at a press conference that they had revisited and reworked their emergency management plans. Other area hospitals have gone through similar re-evaluations.

At Towson's Greater Baltimore Medical Center, employees are required to undergo yearly emergency management training.

"It covers everything from infectious diseases to workplace environment, but that in particular talks about how to identify a potentially violent situation," spokesman Michael Schwartzberg said.

Schwartzberg added that the hospital has 24-hour security presence and surveillance cameras but, like Hopkins, GBMC is an open campus and it would be impossible to make it totally secure from all threats.

"It's very difficult to protect any open campus, whether it's a college, university, shopping center or hospital… but we try to take the proper procedures," he said.

Check back for updates...

Mary Gaut September 16, 2010 at 11:13 PM
You have the most up to date info about this anywhere. Well done!
Ramsey Flynn September 17, 2010 at 03:15 AM
First-rate reporting. Thanks, mates....


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