On the morning of April 26, Vajinder Toor, M.D., left his home in Branford to begin his daily commute to the School of Medicine, where he was a fellow in infectious diseases. In the parking lot outside his apartment a man was waiting. According to police Lishan Wang, M.D., accosted Toor, then shot him several times. Toor died at the scene. His pregnant wife, Parnetta Sidhu, ran outside and Wang, police said, also shot at her, but missed. Toor, 34, also had a 3-year-old son.
Wang, 44, was arrested moments later in his minivan. He has been charged with murder in Toor’s death and is being held on $2 million bond. Police reported finding three guns, 1,000 rounds of ammunition, and the names and addresses of two other physicians Wang allegedly blamed for his dismissal in 2008 from the Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in New York. Wang filed a lawsuit against the hospital in 2009 alleging that Toor and other physicians had discriminated against him because he is Chinese.
Toor and Wang had a confrontation in 2008 after Wang, a resident under Toor’s supervision, was reportedly absent from his post in the intensive care unit and did not respond to repeated pages. When Toor reprimanded him, Wang allegedly became threatening. Wang was suspended and in July 2008 was fired from the hospital. He subsequently moved to Marietta, Ga., where he worked as a researcher at Morehouse School of Medicine until he recently resigned.
At the medical school and at Yale-New Haven Hospital, colleagues and friends mourned the loss of Toor, who was the first person in his family to attend college. After graduating from Guru Govind Singh Medical College in India, he pursued his postgraduate medical education in the United States. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Kingsbrook, where he was chief resident. He also did graduate course work at the Boston University School of Medicine and worked in private practice in Austin, Texas.
At Kingsbrook he evaluated novel agents for the treatment of peripheral arterial disease and comparative therapies for stress ulcer prophylaxis. At Yale he was about to complete the clinical year of his fellowship and was planning to join the HIV clinical trials group to study new classes of anti-retroviral drugs.
Toor had sound clinical judgment, his colleagues said, read the medical literature constantly, and was a diligent advocate for his patients. He was often found late at night at the bedside, spending time to help the patient and family cope with an illness and address their concerns.