Fayetteville woman's death linked to NJ murder-suicide

Shawna Givens (Photo courtesy of Shawna Givens' family)

April 18, 2012 2:14:29 PM PDT
Investigators are looking into that the possibility the death of a woman in Fayetteville could be linked to a murder-suicide involving two doctors in a New Jersey suburb of Philadelphia.

Cumberland County Sheriff's deputies doing a welfare check at a home in the 1600 block of Holloman Drive found 35-year-old Shawna Givens shot to death around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Authorities were called after the hospital where she was employeed reported her she failed to show up for work.

The body was sent to the medical examiner in Chapel Hill for an autopsy to determine when she died. She was believed to have been killed days earlier.

Investigators in New Jersey said on Thursday that Givens was in a relationship with 39-year-old Dr. Giocondo Navek.

Womack Army Medical Center confirmed that Givens and Navek worked in a primary care clinic at Fort Bragg. Navek was an active duty primary care physician and Givens was a medical support assistant - a civilian who greets patients and helps coordinate their care.

According to witnesses, Navek was seen shooting and killing 32-year-old Dr. Payman Houshmandpour, a medical surgical resident, in Voorhees, N.J. Wednesday.

According to authorities, Navek was lying in wait and shot Houshmandpour through the driver's side window of his car as he left for work shortly after 7:30 a.m.

Navek fled in his car, but witnesses were able to get a description and quickly called 911. Navek was pulled over by police about a mile away. As officers approached him, police say he shot himself to death.

A Sig Sauer .357 handgun and ammunition was found in the car.

Investigators have been trying to piece together Navek's history - and where he was and when - over the past week.

According to records, he was cited in a police report filed March 22 in which he is described as firing two shots into a basement wall of a Williamstown, N.J. home and threatening the woman living there - described as his fiancé.

The woman involved told police the incidents occurred in February but she did not report them until after Navek left the area for his job at Womack in Fayetteville. She did not request a restraining order and no charges were filed.

Investigators say they have learned Navek resided in the New Jersey area part-time and was visiting family in Philadelphia for the Easter holiday with Givens. He identified her as his girlfriend to his family. They stayed in this area until Sunday, then returned to North Carolina.

It is unclear when Navek left North Carolina but family reported he was back in Philadelphia by 8 p.m. Tuesday, when he left his Mercedes with family, saying it was having problems. He then borrowed a Nissan from a relative.

It was the Nissan he used to get to Houshmandpour's home to kill him.

Investigators said they have searched the Mercedes Navek left with his family and found physical evidence they're sharing with Cumberland County investigators in Fayetteville.

They also said they're conducting ballistics tests to see if the gun used to kill Houshmandpour is the same one used to kill Givens.

The motive for the killings is still under investigation, but sources told ABC11's sister station WPVI in Philadelphia that Navek and Houshmandpour worked together as residents at a hospital in New Jersey's Virtua Health System up until about a year and a half ago and Navek blamed Houshmandpour for the loss of his job there.

Meanwhile, Givens' family told ABC11 they're shocked by what happened.

"She was a beautiful, smart, funny and loving 35-year-old mother of three beautiful children," Givens' sister told ABC11. "My family and I are devastated by this and we appreciate all of the thoughts and prayers from those that not only knew her but those who did not."

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