A Tennessee nurse has recounted how she watched in horror as Larry Pickens pulled a gun from his waistband and shot surgeon Benjamin Mauck three times before fleeing.
Mauck, 43, was pronounced dead Tuesday at the Campbell Clinic in Collierville, 30 miles from downtown Memphis.
On Thursday, the clinic paid tribute to the celebrated hand surgeon, who is one of 10 surgeons in the US who can operate on children with “complex hand abnormalities.”
Pickens, 29, appeared in Collierville Municipal Court Thursday to face first-degree murder charges. He did not plead guilty during the brief arraignment because he had not yet obtained legal advice and was arrested after he said he could not post $1.2 million bail.
Mauck’s devastated colleagues were struggling to come to terms with the loss of someone who had done so much for others.
“Ben was a lot to so many people,” said Dr. Frederick Azar, Campbell Clinic chief of staff.
Larry Pickens, 29, (left), has been charged with first-degree murder for shooting 43-year-old Dr. Benjamin Mauck (right) in the exam room at the Campbell Clinic in Collierville, Tennessee, on Tuesday.
Mauck is seen with his wife Rhiannon and their two children.
He said Mauck “loved his family”: his wife, Rhiannon Mauck, and their two young children.
“He was a gifted doctor who cared deeply about his patients, and they loved him too, with literally thousands of positive testimonials.”
Added Azar: ‘He was an excellent teacher to our residents and peers, and was a respected leader in our practice.
“He was a brother to all of us who had the blessing and privilege of caring for our patients alongside him.”
Azar said Mauck’s “legacy here will always be held in high regard.”
He concluded: ‘Her life truly embodied our priorities for faith, family and patient care.’
Dr. Benjamin Mauck was murdered in his clinic Tuesday afternoon
Lydia McGuinn, a nurse practitioner, was in the room when Pickens allegedly drew a gun and shot Mauck to death.
Azar’s tribute came as new details of Tuesday’s shooting emerged.
Lydia McGuinn, a nurse practitioner who has worked at the clinic for nearly 37 years, was in the room with Mauck when he was treating Pickens.
She told police that she knew Pickens because she had attended the clinic before.
Pickens is shown in his backup photo from Tuesday
Some clinic staff say he had been threatening Mauck for a week. It is not clear if the surgeon, or someone else at the clinic, reported him to the police.
McGuinn said Pickens pulled a gun from his waistband and fired three shots before running away.
Pickens was found walking out of the clinic, carrying a black Smith & Wesson SD40 handgun.
Pickens has a history of schizophrenia and told police in April last year that he was not taking his medication.
Pickens has no criminal record in Collierville, but has called the police multiple times about other people.
In April 2022, he called the police claiming that someone had broken into his home.
During that interaction, he told officers that he was schizophrenic and did not take medication, according to the local Memphis outlet. WATER.
In another, more threatening incident, he scared staff and customers at a barbershop by complaining about his haircut.
Last year, Pickens is said to have threatened the owners of the Faded Barber Shop because he didn’t like their haircut.
One of the barbershop owners said he saw Pickens feeling in his pocket as if looking for a gun.
He didn’t pull one out and ended up calling the police himself claiming someone else had threatened him, which they didn’t.
The barbershop owner told WATE that he was worried about his staff.
‘Someone felt threatened, and whenever we feel threatened, we have to go about our business.
“I thought he had some kind of mental disorder just from his actions and how he carried himself.
“He was just reaching into his pocket like he had a gun, but he wasn’t pulling anything out like he was going to shoot,” he said.
He was not charged in either incident.