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Murdered NRI doc was 'a person with golden heart'

April 28, 2010 21:54 IST

Indian-American Vajinder Toor, who was shot dead by his disgruntled Chinese colleague, was on Wednesday remembered by friends as a 'very intelligent, hardworking young doctor' with a golden heart.

Toor, 34, was gunned down on Monday outside his Branford, Connecticut home, where he was living while doing research at Yale University. DrĀ  Lishan Wang, who shot Toor, also fired at his pregnant wife Parneeta Sidhu, but she escaped unhurt.

"We found out about this (incident) yesterday," said Heidi Shalev, a spokeswoman for Austin Regional Clinic, where Toor had last practiced medicine. "It is really unfortunate. Really, really sad."

When he left to do research in infectious diseases at Yale, he had promised his colleagues at Austin Regional Clinic that he would be back when he finished his fellowship.

"He had a golden heart. He was very warm and was an eager, hardworking young doctor," Austin American Statesman paper quoted Hue Nguyen, a clinical nurse manager who worked with Toor in cardiac care, as saying.

"I could always count on him to cover extra shifts. He was a very intelligent guy and very agreeable," said Tim Rye, regional director of operations for Austin Regional.

Toor told Rye that in his spare time he played soccer and enjoyed time with his three-year-old son.

Nguyen recalled how Toor missed his wife and son when they went away to visit family. He showed her pictures of his son and followed their return trip on his iPhone. Toor kept 'telling me how many hours it would be until they would be home,' she said.

"He cared so much about his family," Nguyen said. "It makes me want to cry."

He stood out among doctors for his intimate knowledge of each patient he cared for, knowing 'their situation, just like a social worker,' she said.

A graduate of Guru Gobind Singh Medical College at Punjab University in India, Toor received a medical license in Texas in August 2008 and started working for Austin Regional Clinic. It was his first job after he completed his physician training, Rye said.

Wang, a Chinese national, was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Medicine from 2002 to 2006. When he was arrested, Wang had information about doctors in his residency programme when he was fired in July 2008 from Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, along with 1,000 rounds of ammunition, three handguns, a hammer, a knife and a picture of Toor.

Wang claims that Toor, his supervisor and chief resident in the department of medicine at Kingsbrook, unfairly subjected him to blood tests and X-rays when Wang was ill and on duty.

"It was at this time that Dr Wang first realized that (the hospital) perceived him as being disabled in that he may suffer mental impairment," a legal suit filed by Wang said.

Wang also alleged Toor reprimanded him in front of others for ignoring pages and calls at the hospital. He has been charged with murder and firearms offenses and is being held on two million dollar bail. He will appear in court again on May 11.

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