Visalia Police Department saves lives of Three Doctors
palo alto, calif. – A terminally ill Visalia man’s plot to murder three Bay Area doctors last week was prevented thanks to thorough work by the Visalia Police Department.
Early in the morning of May 31, the Visalia Police Department received a call from a Visalia family that 58-year-old Yue Chen had gone missing. Sgt. Damon Maurice, spokesperson for the department, said officers began searching the Yens’ home for clues as to what may have caused his disappearance. What they found instead was a suicide note, the name of three doctors and their home addresses and a written plan to shoot the doctors, Sgt. Maurice said.
“He was upset with his doctors who were all based in the Bay Area,” Sgt. Maurice said. “Two registered handguns were also missing from the home and we discovered he had rented a car, which the family members were not aware of.”
The Visalia Police Department quickly broadcast a bulletin to look for the rental vehicle and Chen as well as contacting law enforcement agencies in the Palo Alto area, where at least one of the doctors lived, according to a report by the San Jose Mercury News. The Palo Alto Police Department said they took precautions to put officers at the homes of the three doctors as well as any other doctors who had treated Chen, who was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.
At 7:48 p.m. that night, officers with the California Highway Patrol’s San Jose office reported that they had located and stopped Chen’s rental car, a red 2017 Nissan Rogue, on Highway 101 and Hellyer Avenue in San Jose. Inside the car, CHP officers found two loaded semi-automatic handguns with high-capacity magazines (32 and 16 rounds, respectively) in the car within reach of the suspect and Google maps of the three doctors’ homes. Chen reportedly got lost trying to find the doctors’ homes. Officers from the California Highway Patrol arrested the suspect without incident, and transported him to a local hospital for pain related to his cancer.
After he was discharged from the hospital, Chen was booked at the Palo Alto Police Department. The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office has filed three felony counts of attempted murder as well as a misdemeanor for carrying a loaded gun.
Chen later told detectives that he had be treated like a “laboratory monkey” and that he believed he was being used as a tool for research.
The Mercury News reported that Chen told detectives, “They only hurt me. They hurt me both hospitals. They really screw my life, or the doctors lie to me. Hospitals, they all cover for each other.”
Palo Alto police Lt. James Reifschneider praised the work of the Visalia Police Department in thwarting the crime in an interview with the Mercury News, “We have to give credit to Visalia for taking the threat as serious. They went out on a missing persons case. Because they were thorough, they were able to identify there was much more to the story.”