2 doctors dead in Voorhees murder-suicide

April 18, 2012 1:32:38 PM PDT
Police in Voorhees continue to investigate the apparent murder-suicide that took the lives of two medical doctors.

The estranged girlfriend, other relatives, and friends of 39-year-old Dr. Giocondo Navek declined any comment Wednesday night outside the Williamstown home Navek sometimes had shared with her and their young child.

Witness Brendan Canavan heard the shots on Avalon Court and looked out his window to see a gunman calmly repeatedly shoot his neighbor who was at the wheel of his silver Audi.

"Through the rear window, I could see the shadow of someone dropping over the passenger seat," Canavan said.

The victim is identified as 32-year-old physician Payman Houshmandpour, a medical surgical resident with Virtua Health System.

Police say his killer, Navek, was once a doctor at Virtua as well and a former friend of Houshmandpour.

According to authorities, Navek was lying in wait.

"[Houshmandpour] was on his way to work about 7:30 this morning in his vehicle and Mr. Navek came up and fired multiple times through the window killing him," Jason Laughlin of the Camden County Prosecutor's Office said.

Navek fled in his silver Nissan, but witnesses were able to get a description and quickly called 9-1-1.

Navek was pulled over by police about a mile away on Centennial Boulevard. As officers approached him, police say he shot himself to death.

Action News has learned that Navek was a captain in the Army Reserve Medical Command. He began his service in October 2001. Navek was on active duty stateside from February 2011 until July 2011 as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

He is also a former Philadelphia paramedic who quit his job there because he couldn't take the stress.

Up until a year and a half ago, he also worked at Virtua. Sources say he blamed Houshmandpour for the lost of his job there.

Grieving family members of Houshmandpour asked reporters not to approach the family home.

Neighbors described him as devoted to his wife and daughter and, when at the hospital, a caring doctor.

"We had a family member there a few months back and he was there and he called us [and said], 'Is everything ok, do you want me to come up to take a look, see if everything's alright?' He was so nice," neighbor Jill Bernstein said.

Meanwhile, 22 miles away at the home Navek had shared with his girlfriend, neighbors were baffled by the news.

"He was a cool guy, he was just quiet. I mean, he seemed to stick to his family, I don't have nothing bad to say about the guy," neighbor Terrell Jones said.

Authorities say they expect to have more on this tragedy tomorrow.