DALLAS (Reuters) - A former soldier who had also been an employee at a U.S. Army medical facility in El Paso fatally shot a psychologist at a veteran’s clinic in the west Texas city and then took his own life, an FBI agent said on Wednesday.
The shooter, identified as Jerry Serrato, 48, a former desk clerk at the veterans’ clinic of the William Beaumont Army Medical Center, shot Dr. Timothy Fjordbak and then took his own life, FBI Special Agent Douglas Lindquist told a news conference.
Lindquist said Fjordbak had previously reported Serrato verbally threatened him during a chance encounter at a grocery store in 2013 because “(Serrato’s) perception was that some wrong had been committed against him and he was going to take some sort of measure to counter that.”
Officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is leading the investigation of the shooting, said both men had worked simultaneously at the clinic but they were not aware of a working relationship.
The clinic, located on the Fort Bliss Army post, will remain closed on Thursday, post officials said.
“We extend our condolences to the El Paso VA clinic staff as they mourn the loss of one of their staff members,” Fort Bliss officials said in a statement.
In a survey released last year, the Office of the Inspector General ranked the El Paso VA Health Care System as one of the worst in the country in terms of wait times for primary patient care and patients seeking mental healthcare.
Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Tom Brown, Peter Cooney and Eric Walsh