Cops ID Suspect in Cold-Blooded Shooting of Beloved Tennessee Hand Surgeon

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Courtesy of Campbell Clinic and Collierville Police Department.

Courtesy of Campbell Clinic and Collierville Police Department.

Tennessee cops identified 29-year-old Larry Pickens as the man who allegedly staked out and shot physician Benjamin Mauck dead in an exam room this week—an “unthinkable tragedy” that’s horrified his loved ones and colleagues.

Pickens now faces charges of first-degree murder and aggravated assault. He’s accused of waiting inside Mauck’s orthopedics office for hours before eventually barging into an exam room and shooting the beloved doc dead around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Details surrounding the slaying have been limited. Cops in Collierville, a city of 50,000 about 30 miles west of Memphis, are yet to release a suspected motive, but confirmed Pickens was receiving care from Mauck.

Chief Dale Lane said officers responded to Mauck’s office in less than five minutes, but they weren’t able to revive him. Lane said Pickens seemingly spared other patients after he opened fire then ran outside the building—a sign that Tuesday’s slaying was targeted.

“This appears to be a one-on-one interaction,” Lane said Tuesday. “It’s bad. It’s horrific. It’s terrible. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.”

Lane said Pickens was holding a handgun when officers took him into custody outside Mauck’s office without incident. Video from the scene showed officers sprinting out of the clinic with guns drawn. Separate footage from a body-worn camera showed a man telling officers the shooter “had a gun in his hand and came running out.”

Speaking to WREG 3, a woman fought back tears as she recalled her experience inside the clinic. “Someone’s not going home to their family,” she said. “It could have been anybody else in that clinic today.”

While cops have remained mum on a possible motive, Memphis Senator Raumesh Akbari said in a statement that the shooter had been threatening a clinic employee for over a week. Lane said his department was unaware of the alleged threats.

“Tragedies like this underscore the urgent need for common sense—like reinstating background checks and gun licenses, and establishing new reforms like an order of protection so police can remove firearms from a person who is threatening others,” said Akbari.

Mauck, 43, was married with two kids, the New York Post reported, citing the Facebook page for Rhiannon Mauck. That page’s profile photo appears to show Rhiannon and Mauck smiling with two young children in front of a lake.

An outpouring of tributes emerged Tuesday after Campbell Clinic Orthopedics identified Mauck as the slain doctor. An online bio said he graduated medical school from the University of Tennessee-Memphis and specialized in elbow, hand and wrist surgery for the last six years.

“I am saddened and in a place of unhappiness right now! Dr Benjamin Mauck was an incredible and brilliant physician,” wrote Constance Terry on Facebook, adding that Mauck was the only physician to properly diagnose and treat her after a car accident in 2021.

Just last month, Mauck was named a 2023 Top Doctor in Memphis by Castle Connolly, a national healthcare research agency that puts patients in contact with physicians.

In a statement, Campbell Clinic Orthopedics said it was closing all nine of its clinics—scattered around West Tennessee and Mississippi—on Wednesday as colleagues, loved ones and patients continue to mourn.

“We are shocked and heartbroken to confirm the incident resulted in the tragic loss of one of our highly respected and beloved physicians,” a spokesperson for the clinic, Irina Ollar, said in a statement.

Mauck was also the head of the Congenital Hand Clinic at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, where he was a “beloved colleague and a dedicated physician,” said Dr. Trey Eubanks, the hospital’s interim president.

“We already miss him,” Eubanks wrote in a statement. “His death is an unthinkable tragedy, and I am at loss at what to say. I am so sorry to those who loved and knew him, for those who worked alongside him every day.”

A judge set Pickens bail at $1.2 million, police posted to NextDoor on Wednesday. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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