NEW YORK — As the dust settles from a fatal shooting of a Bakersfields veterinarian on the hospital floor, a familiar face has returned to the Bakersland scene.
The veterinarian, who was identified by the local paper as James T. Tabor, has been a fixture in the local scene for more than 30 years.
He is the founder of the Bakerfield Veterinary Association, and has been instrumental in getting veterinary professionals into the city’s animal-friendly medical care system, the paper reported.
Tabor, who is survived by his wife, two daughters and two sons, had been in the hospital for about three hours before he was shot.
His wife said he was the first person she had seen since the shooting.
“He was the most gracious person that I have ever met, and that is why I am here,” said Tabor’s widow, Mary Tabor.
He had been working in the animal care business for 20 years.
The paper reported that he was an experienced vet who was in charge of veterinary services in the emergency room at UC Davis Medical Center.
He was also a member of the veterinary staff at UC San Diego.
The Bakersville Police Department, which responded to the scene, said the shooting occurred at around 11:50 a.m.
UC Davis spokesperson Amy DeAngelis said a preliminary investigation indicates Tabor was a veterinary technician who had been hired by the hospital.
The Bakersbrook Fire Department, also on the scene in the medical center, said that Tabor suffered a gunshot wound to the leg.
It did not release any further details on the nature of the wound.
Tabb was taken to a local hospital and pronounced dead there, DeAngeli said.
No other information was released.
Bakersfield Mayor John DeFilippo told the paper that the shooting was not his office’s concern.
He said that if any issues arose with Tabor after his arrival, he was handled properly.
“I’m just glad that he is OK,” DeFilippo said.
“He was a very kind and loving person.
I think that this is going to be a wake-up call to everybody else that we need to be much more proactive.”
The Bakerfields Veterinary Association has set up a memorial fund in the hopes that someone in the community will help pay for funeral costs for Tabor and his family.
The group plans to hold a benefit event Friday in his honor.
Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call the BPD Homicide Unit at (818) 955-5065 or call Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.