OMAHA, Neb. – An Indiana doctor has been arrested in Illinois on suspicion of involvement in the killings of three adults and an 11-year-old boy in Nebraska all with ties to an Omaha university medical school that fired him in 2001.
Dr. Anthony Garcia, 40, was arrested Monday during a traffic stop by Illinois State Police in Union County, in southern Illinois, Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said.
Garcia is accused of breaking into the Omaha home of Creighton University medical school pathology professor Roger Brumback in May. Investigators believe Garcia fatally shot the professor and stabbed his wife Mary to death, Schmaderer said. Garcia is also suspected in the 2008 fatal stabbings of the son of another Creighton pathology professor, William Hunter, and his housekeeper in an affluent Omaha neighborhood, just blocks from the home of billionaire investor Warren Buffett.
Schmaderer said 11-year-old Thomas Hunter and the housekeeper, Shirlee Sherman, were likely not the intended targets of the attack and that investigators believe Garcia acted alone.
Illinois authorities are holding Garcia, of Terre Haute, on suspicion of four counts of first-degree murder and four counts of using a weapon to commit a felony, Schmaderer said. Garcia appeared to be intoxicated and was in possession of a .45-caliber handgun when he was arrested, he said.
An Illinois State Police official declined to discuss details of Garcia’s arrest or detention.
It was not immediately clear if Garcia had an attorney.
Schmaderer said Garcia was a department resident when Brumback and Hunter fired him in 2001 because they said he displayed erratic behavior. The police chief didn’t provide further details and he declined to discuss the evidence used to build the case against Garcia.
Public records show that since 2003, Garcia has held medical licenses in California, Illinois and Indiana, but his temporary Indiana license expired in January.
One of the Brumbacks’ three children, Darryl, said the family had no comment about the arrest. A male relative of Sherman’s also declined to speak. The Hunter family didn’t respond to a phone message seeking comment.
Associated Press writer Grant Schulte contributed to this story from Lincoln.