One of the two men killed in a shooting at a medical office in Rancho Mirage was a 67-year-old renowned orthopedic surgeon and former chief of surgery at Desert Regional Medical Center, the network that runs the hospital said in a statement Saturday.
“We mourn the tragic passing of Dr. David Duffner, a long-time leader and member of the Medical Staff at Desert Regional. Dr. Duffner was a friend to many in the Coachella Valley and will be deeply missed by those of us who knew and worked with him over the years,” the Desert Care Network statement said.
The shooting occurred at around 9:30 a.m. Friday at Duffner’s private practice in the Mirage Mall, a strip mall in the 71-500 block of Highway 111 near Indian Trail Road.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said that Walter Carter, 63, of Desert Hot Springs entered Duffner’s office and shot him multiple times before fatally shooting himself.
The motive for the shooting was unknown.
“He was a compassionate physician with excellent skills and a great sense of humor,” said Louis Stabile, an orthopedic surgeon at Desert Regional Medical Center and colleague of Duffner’s, in a Facebook post. “In reality, he was possibly 6 weeks away from retirement when he was gunned down in his office by his assailant.”