U.S. jury indicts man accused of threatening to kill dental staff

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A man has been indicted by a U.S. grand jury for threatening to shoot and kill the staff of a dental office for failing to see him without an appointment, according to a story recently published in Border Report.

Edward Laning Gordon, who in a separate incident threatened to burn down an apartment building, was indicted on April 19 after a U.S. judge in New Mexico found him mentally competent to stand trial on a charge of malicious threat to injure by fire and explosives, according to the story published on April 19.

The investigation of Gordon began on July 11, 2023, when he reportedly went to a dental practice in Roswell, NM, without an appointment. He purportedly demanded treatment and became aggressive toward the staff. They did not treat him on that day but gave him an appointment for August 2, 2023. Gordon then left, according to the story.

Gordon reportedly called the U.S. National Veterans and Military Crisis Line and told a representative that he planned to "kill staff members of the dental office" when he returned for his August 2 appointment at the practice. The agency reported the threat to police.

While police were investigating the alleged threat, police responded to a domestic threat call at a home in Roswell in late July 2023. When officers arrived, Gordon reportedly stated that he "had thoughts of shooting it out with the cops." At this time, police seized a revolver and ammunition from Gordon and took him for a medical evaluation at a hospital, according to the story.

On August 10, 2023, Gordon purportedly contacted police asking them to return the seized gun. During the call, Gordon alleged he had purchased another gun since they took his revolver. The county received a protective order to seize all of his guns due to his erratic behavior, according to the story.

When authorities came to seize the weapons, Gordon reportedly said, "You know, I want to kill one of your officers. He's a (expletive deleted) bag." Later, police returned to the apartment after receiving a call from the veterans' crisis line stating that Gordon had allegedly threatened to burn down his apartment building and slit his neighbor's throat. He was taken for another mental health evaluation, according to the report.

Recently, several incidents of violence have spilled into dental practices.

In February, Dr. Katherine "Katie" Tran was stabbed multiple times by a patient while working at a practice in New Orleans. She underwent hand surgery and was in danger of losing an eye.

Also in February, a patient, Mohammed Abdulkareem, 29, was arrested for opening fire, killing a dentist and injuring two employees inside a practice in California. Dr. Benjamin Harouni, 28, died from gunshot wounds at the scene.

In January, Steven Alexander Smith pleaded guilty to capital murder for the March 2022 shooting deaths of Dr. Jack Burroughs Jr., 75, and Dr. Blake Sinclair, 59, who practiced at Affordable Dentures & Implants in Tyler, TX. Smith, a patient who reportedly killed the dentists because he didn't like his dentures, was sentenced to life in prison.

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