Primary Care Kentucky Physician Shot by Patient
John Combs, 46, has been charged in the murder of Dr. Dennis Sandlin, 57, who practiced at the rural southeastern Kentucky Leatherwood-Blackey Medical Clinic. The shooting took place Tuesday, December 8, at around 11 am at the clinic.
Mike Caudill, CEO of the nonprofit Mountain Comprehensive Health Corp which runs the clinic has confirmed that Combs was seen earlier in the morning at the clinic. It is reported Combs made threats after being denied narcotics.
Sandlin was pronounced dead at the scene, according to state police. Combs, of Redfox, was arrested by state police for the murder a couple hours after the shooting at his home, said Trooper Tony Watts.
Watts has reported said police don't yet have a motive. A Perry County sheriff's deputy said Combs had asked for narcotics but was required to give a urine sample, which he refused to do.
Kentucy Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo, also a physician in Perry County, knew Sandlin. He is reported to say if the killing had to do with the doctor refusing to give the patient prescription pills then "this drug problem is tearing the fabric of our communities, of our society, and I'm angry. Now it's impacting a place where you expect to be safe, and that's a doctor's office.”
Sandlin had worked as a primary care physician at the clinic since 1990. He was well liked by his colleagues and patients. Sandlin graduated from the University of Louisville medical school and had been a doctor in Kentucky since 1978.