For the first time, a Southern California doctor shared her story about a man she remembered as a colleague and friend, a Chicago-area doctor who was shot and killed in Afghanistan. Gadi Schwartz reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. Thursday, April 24, 2014.
A Southern California doctor is one of many around the world mourning an American doctor who was shot and killed at a charity-based children’s hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan Thursday.
Dr. Jerry Umanos and two others were shot and killed by a security guard who was working at the CURE hospital.
Dr. Chawn Watkins worked with Dr. Umanos in Chicago before he moved to Afghanistan and she moved to Los Angeles.
Watkins remembers a smiling pediatrician who was happiest serving those in need.
"(He was) the most energetic person that I knew, especially around the children and that’s why they loved him so much," Watkins said. "And wherever there was a need, he wanted to serve and to be a part of being the solution."
Umanos’ wife said the family has forgiven the shooter, because she feels that’s what her husband would have wanted.
"We don’t hold any ill will towards Afghanistan in general or even the gunman who did this," Jan Schuitema Umanos said.
The gunman shot himself but survived. He was treated at the same charity hospital by doctors who were colleagues of Dr. Umanos.
Watkins said that if he were able to, Umanos would have wanted to treat the gunman himself.
"I just believe Jerry would have wanted to treat him there, as well. He would have done the same thing," Watkins said.
The gunman has been turned over to Afghan authorities.