SOUTH JORDAN, Utah (ABC4 News) – Numerous questions remained Monday after a South Jordan veterinarian was shot and killed Saturday night in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
For the last two years, Dr. Cody Wrathall worked as an equine veterinarian at South Valley Large Animal Clinic where everyone was still wondering how he wound up shot to death 585 miles away.
The 43-year-old father of three was a graduate of Tooele High School, Utah State University and Purdue University Veterinary School who loved caring for horses.
Dr. Beau Beck, one of four co-owners of South Valley Large Animal Clinic, described Dr. Wrathall as a dedicated employee.
“He’s one of those that will drop whatever he’s doing if he needed to go help somebody out. He would always do that,” Dr. Beck told ABC4 News Monday. “He never shirked a task. He was always there for his clients.”
But that ended suddenly and violently Saturday night when Albuquerque Police say he entered the Nexus Brewery and Restaurant holding a gun. An off-duty FBI agent, who happened to be inside, drew his weapon and fired.
“There was no altercation that we saw. It just happened,” Nexus customer Faith Hibbs-Clark said.
“We just heard bang bang bang bang and it sounded like somebody was just unloading a full clip,” customer Chris Fulham said.
“You hear kids screaming,” another witness said. “People tripping over chairs. People saying ‘Run shooter’.”
We’ve blurred out the blood in these photos of the scene but you can see a holstered pistol on the floor. Investigators are not certain whether Dr. Wrathall fired any shots or even why this respected horse doctor was there in the first place.
“Just a great employee, a great person, and a great family man,” Dr. Beck said. “That’s what we hope people will remember about him.”
Both the Albuquerque Police Department and the FBI say the investigation into Dr. Wrathall’s death is ongoing. On Monday, the FBI assigned a team of agents from their Inspection Division to investigate the case.