UTMB Doctor charged in drive-by shooting

27 July 2006: A Dickinson man was recovering Wednesday from two gunshot wounds at a University of Texas Medical Branch hospital, where the man accused of shooting him practiced medicine.

Hospital spokeswoman Jennifer Reynolds-Sanchez said Dr. Wameeth Fadhli would not perform any clinical work while officials investigate the shooting of a 22-year-old bicyclist.

The younger man was riding his bicycle in the 3000 block of Avenue C just outside the city limits about 7:20 p.m. Tuesday when a green sport utility vehicle pulled alongside him, officials said

Witnesses told investigators the man was wearing what appeared to be surgical scrubs and was in the vehicle alone, said Maj. Ray Tuttoilmondo of the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office.

The driver of the vehicle pulled what witnesses described as a pistol and fired “numerous” shots, Tuttoilmondo said. Two of the shots hit the bicyclist, once in the chest and once in the left shoulder.

Officials declined to release the victim’s name Wednesday because they have yet to speak to him. The man underwent surgery and was listed in guarded condition at the hospital in Galveston, Tuttoilmondo said.

Witnesses reportedly helped investigators track the vehicle. Deputies found a vehicle matching the description in front of a home in the 1900 block of O’Reilly Bend, according to agency reports.

Deputies found Fadhli there and took him into custody. Investigators had not found the gun that wounded the bicyclist as of Wednesday.

Fadhli, 33, faces a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, which carries a possible prison term of two to 20 years, as well as a possible fine of up to $10,000.

Fadhli was in jail Wednesday under $250,000 bond.

He has no criminal history.

Assistant district attorney Xochitl Vandiver, who recommended the bond after conferring with investigators, said the amount was higher than usual for that charge because of concerns for community safety.

“At this point, this looks like it could have been just a random shooting, and that makes it a pretty scary crime,” she said.

Sheriff’s deputies said that as of Wednesday they had found no evidence that the two men knew each other.