Utah man fatally shoots his doctor girlfriend and then takes his own life in apparent murder-suicide
The doctor's seniors paid tribute to her saying that her adventurous spirit and love of learning will be missed by all those who knew her.
Sarah Hawley, a medical school graduate, was shot to death Sunday by her own boyfriend before he turned the gun on himself. Devastated friends, classmates, and professors of Hawley at the University of California-San Francisco have now spoken out.
The 27-year-old was fondly remembered on Tuesday morning by faculty members at a vigil that was held at 5:30 p.m. at the School of Medicine in San Francisco, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.
Catherine Lucey, vice dean of education at the UC-San Francisco’s School of Medicine, said, “We feel the need to come together and help each other grieve through this. There’s no making sense of it. We can’t help each other understand. It’s really all about helping support each other and trying to figure out how we can move ahead and honor Sarah.”
Hawley, who was a doctor in the family medicine residency program at the University of Utah’s School of Medicine, was shot by her boyfriend of four years Travis Geddes, 30, in their home near 1800 E. Ramona Ave., on Sunday. According to Salt Lake City police, Geddes apparently shot Hawley before killing himself. Sgt. Brandon Shearer of the SLCPD said, “It appears to be a domestic-related murder-suicide."
Speaking to The Tribune, University spokesman Chris Nelson said that Hawley hadn't reported any domestic violence concerns to her residency supervisor or university police.
“She really stood out for her commitment to taking care of patients from the time they were born until the time they died,” Lucey said. She further mentioned how the young doctor was looking forward to going to Utah and was looking forward to participating in a program there which she thought "was exactly the type of family medicine program that was going to launch her career to help her be the type of doctor she really wanted to be.”
According to her, Hawley had “an easygoing way about her” and “instantly connected with everyone regardless of where they came from or who they know or what they were there for. And that was true not only for her patients but for her friends.”
Hawley “was a relationship person," Lucey continued. "She knew the power of developing strong relationships that helped people through difficult times, and it’s just crushing to us to know that she must have been struggling with some challenges herself in the relationship that she was in. You don’t know what people are struggling with in their day-to-day lives, and all we can say is that we hope that someday, somehow we can actually develop a system in a society where people with intense anger can get help, rather than turning it on someone they love."
“Regardless of whether this was a one-time thing or a longtime thing, this is really toxic anger that led to the loss of this really remarkable woman from our lives,” she added.
Hawley’s department chairman, Kolawole Okuyemi, said in a news statement that Hawley came to Utah “to continue her passion of providing care to women and children in underserved communities. Her adventurous spirit and love of learning will be missed by all those who knew her.”
The young doctor's interests included family practice, reproductive health, obstetrics, pediatrics and rural and wilderness medicine. Michael Good, Dean of the School of Medicine, said in the statement, “Dr. Hawley always did a great job of connecting with her patients and understanding where they were coming from. She treated the whole person, and patients were always appreciative of her approach.”