What’s happened in a year
Jan. 10, 2001
— Shots reported at 11:28 a.m. from county Department of Behavioral Health Services outside Nevada City. Temporary receptionist Laura Wilcox, 19, and caregiver Pearlie Mae Feldman, 68, die at the scene. Supervising health technician Judith Edzards, 50, is critically injured from gunshots; and intern Daisy Switzer, 36, is seriously injured jumping from a second-floor window.
— More shots reported at 11:37 a.m. at Lyon’s Restaurant on Nevada City Highway. Gunshots kill manager Mike Markle, 24, and injure cook Rick Senuty, 35.
— At 8:59 p.m., Scott Harlan Thorpe, 41, of Smartville surrenders at his Mooney Flat Road home after phone negotiations involving his brother, a Sacramento policeman.
Jan. 12, 2001. Thorpe arraigned on three counts each of murder and attempted murder. He’s accused of killing Wilcox, Feldman and Markle and trying to kill Edzards, Senuty and Dr. George “Dick” Heitzman, Thorpe’s psychiatrist. Heitzman later resigns.
Jan. 16, 2001. County supervisors declare a state of emergency to expedite the return of county services and make repairs, including the installation of bullet-resistant glass at Behavioral Health.
Jan. 17, 2001. Search warrant documents say Thorpe’s home contained a suicide note and an array of guns, ammunition, gas masks and a calendar indicating a Jan. 10 appointment at Behavioral Health.
Feb. 2, 2001. Judge John Darlington appoints two psychiatrists and one psychologist to determine if Thorpe is mentally competent to assist in his own defense
Feb. 10, 2001. Wilcox’s family leads a silent vigil protesting a gun show at the Nevada County Fairgrounds.
March 13, 2001. Sheriff Keith Royal issues 13 commendations for the response to the shootings. Sgt. Gary Driscoll gets the county’s first Silver Star Award for entering Behavioral Health, believing the gunman was still inside.
March 31, 2001. Darlington, based on the doctors’ opinions, finds Thorpe incompetent. Doctors use “schizophrenic,” “delusional” and “paranoid” to describe Thorpe’s mental state.
May 10, 2001. Thorpe sent to Atascadero State Hospital.
June 12, 2001. Thorpe transferred to Napa State Hospital.
July 2001. Families begin filing civil claims that name the county, Heitzman, Thorpe’s brother and the city of Sacramento as defendants.
August 2001. A grand jury returns murder indictments against Thorpe. District Attorney Mike Ferguson seals documents from the proceedings.
Aug. 22, 2001. California Highway Patrol Officers David Qualls and Troy Marks and California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Battalion Chief Rob Paulus receive medals of valor from Gov. Gray Davis for entering Lyon’s as customers fled.
Nov. 15, 2001. A Napa State Hospital staff psychiatrist reports that Thorpe is still incompetent and must stay for treatment at least another six months.
Dec. 11, 2001. County Fair Board votes 8-1 to keep gun shows at the fairgrounds.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User