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FBI: Gunman once threatened doctor he killed at VA

Posted at 8:21 AM, Jan 08, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-08 08:21:56-05

A psychologist who was shot dead at a Texas veterans’ hospital filed a complaint in 2013 saying his killer had threatened him, an FBI agent said Wednesday.

Dr. Timothy Fjordbak, 63, was killed Tuesday by Jerry Serrato, a former Army soldier who worked for a brief time at the hospital as a check-in clerk. Serrato killed himself after shooting the doctor.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Doug Lindquist said Fjordbak had reported to police in October 2013 that Serrato verbally threatened him at a grocery store. Serrato approached Fjordbak, who didn’t recognize him, Lindquist said.

The nature of the threat was “I know what you did, and I will take care of it,” the agent said.

Peter Dancy, the facility’s director, said there is no indication the two had a professional relationship when Serrato worked at the clinic.

Authorities said there were no records of any other threats to any other employees at the El Paso VA Health Care System.

Fjordbak was a “very respected doctor,” Lindquist said. The doctor left private practice after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to treat military veterans returning from combat.

The doctor was killed on the fourth floor of the facility with a .380-caliber pistol. Serrato, 48, shot himself on the third floor, Lindquist said.

The gunman was carrying three additional magazines with him.

The motive for the shooting was unclear. The VA facility was closed Wednesday and will not open Thursday.

Dancy said hospital officials would reschedule patients’ appointments.