NC homicide may be linked to NJ doctor killing

April 12, 2012 - 7:25 PM

VOORHEES, N.J. (AP) — The girlfriend of a military doctor who killed a former New Jersey colleague, then himself, was found fatally shot in her apartment in North Carolina, authorities said Thursday. Ballistics tests will determine if the same gun was used in both crimes.

Dr. Giocondo Navek, 39, ambushed Dr. Payman Houshmandpour, 32, in his car outside his home in this Philadelphia suburb as he was leaving for work Wednesday morning. Minutes later, Navek killed himself when police stopped his vehicle just a mile away.

Authorities said the body of Shawna Dianne Givens, 35, was found at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday in her apartment in Fayetteville, N.C., after she failed to show up for work. Givens was believed to have been killed days earlier.

Navek was an Army physician at Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg, according to Shannon Lynch, a spokesperson for the medical center. He worked in the acute minor illness clinic, akin to an urgent care center after hours.

Givens was a medical support assistant at Womack.

Navek, a medical doctor for the Army Reserve, was living in New Jersey only part time and had visited family in the Philadelphia area for the Easter holiday with Givens before they returned Sunday to North Carolina, according to Jason Laughlin, a spokesman for the county prosecutor. That was the last day family had seen Givens.

He returned to the Philadelphia area by Tuesday night.

Navek and Houshmandpour worked together as residents at Virtua health system in Voorhees until about a year-and-a-half ago.

Navek believed his former colleague was responsible for him being dismissed from the residency program, according to Farogh Mozaffari, the mother of Navek's previous longtime girlfriend.

Mozaffari said her daughter, also a resident at Virtua, broke up with Navek a couple of weeks ago after having discovered he had another girlfriend in North Carolina. They had been together about five years and had a son, she said.

Authorities on Thursday said their investigation had turned up new details about Navek in the months leading up to this week's shootings.

His New Jersey girlfriend filed a police report March 22 in which Navek was reported to have fired two shots into a wall of their basement in Williamstown, N.J., and threatened her, Laughlin said.

The woman told police the incidents occurred in February but that she did not report them until after Navek left the area for his job at the military hospital in North Carolina, Laughlin said.

She did not seek a restraining order, he said, and no charges were filed.

Dr. Simon Boulattouf, who said Navek was his intern at Virtua, told the Philadelphia Daily News that Navek had issues at work that led to his dismissal. He said that Navek had an issue with Houshmandpour but also that there were "many factors."

Police said they recovered a Sig Sauer .357 handgun and at least 11 rounds of ammunition from Navek's vehicle after he shot himself.

Investigators in New Jersey said they were working with the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office in Fayetteville to determine if the gun used to kill Houshmandpour was also used to kill Navek's girlfriend in North Carolina.

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Associated Press writer Skip Foreman contributed to this story from Raleigh, N.C.