Dr. Thomas Grant Shock, a 67-year-old retired podiatrist, was fatally shot in the doorway of his home on Wednesday night in north Lodi.
Responding to reports of gunshots on the 1100 block of Rivergate Drive at approximately 9:53 p.m., officers arrived to find Shock who, despite lifesaving measures, was pronounced dead on the scene from multiple gunshot wounds.
“We’re fairly certain this wasn’t random. We haven’t identified any motives or suspects yet, but we’re keeping our eyes open,” Lodi Police Lt. Michael Manetti said. “I know that officers have canvassed the area looking for witnesses. There are a lot of people in that neighborhood, so if there’s video footage out there, we’re doing our best to find it.”
News-Sentinel columnist Steve Hansen, Shock’s neighbor and friend, said he was surprised that anyone would harm the retired podiatrist in the quiet, affluent neighborhood the two called home.
“He was a well-loved man, he had a lot of patients,” Hansen said. “He retired in June, went to Europe on a short hiatus and had just come back. As a matter of fact, I saw him in his yard (Wednesday).”
Taj Khan, a California Islamic Center board member who lives across the street from Shock, said on Thursday that he and his family were equally surprised to learn that the late doctor had been killed the night before.
“My wife was crying all morning. We’ve known his family for a long, tong time,” Khan said. “Dr. Shock was a good friend, very good-hearted. He was always happy, always friendly, always caring. He had a good career as a podiatrist, and he served this community well.”
Standing in front of the Lodi Police Department at noon Thursday, long-time family friend Marty Weybret, former News-Sentinel owner and publisher, asked for privacy on behalf of Shock’s wife Nancy, their three children and five grandchildren.
“I don’t think any family is ready for this. They're trying to be strong, Nancy is making decisions. Each of his kids is handling this a little bit differently, but it’s a quiet place,” Weybret said. “No family is ready for the loss of their father in this way. He was the sort of grandpa who got down on his knees and played with his grandkids. He did not live to see the birth of his daughter’s first child.”
While Shock’s family gathered in their home to grieve, Weybret reflected on the many runs, walks and bicycle rides the two took around Lodi, and Shock’s friendly teasing if Weybret ever missed one.
“We used to kid ourselves that we gave each other 10 extra years of life,” Weybret said. “We worked out, not every day, but we hardly missed a week since 1987. As we ran around town, we'd run into Tom's patients, and the families of his patients and he was always upbeat. He always remembered his patient's names, always encouraged them to get better.”
Weybret said that before Shock retired in June after 33 years, his friend would have already been awake and going over his patients’ files for an hour when Weybret arrived at his house between 5 and 6 a.m.
“I can't judge other medical professionals, but he was a good doctor,” Weybret said. “I don't just say that as a friend, I say that as an observer of his work ethic.”
Besides his dedication to his patients, Weybret said Shock was never afraid to confide in someone when he was disappointed or share the joys of his accomplishments, and was always ready to listen to anyone who needed a sympathetic ear.
“If I had a challenge, I knew I was free to open up to him,” Weybret said. “I think that's something his family is going to miss about him, too. They could talk to their father about anything.”
The son of working-class parents, Weybret said Shock's compassion led him to join the Lodi Rotary Club and even inspired Nancy to help him support charities such as Lodi House and the Lodi Boys and Girls Club.
“Nancy worked tirelessly, and Tom understood the important role that nonprofits play in our community," Weybret said. “He wasn't handed anything in his life. He worked hard for what he had, and he gave back generously.”
It is that same generosity that made Shock's death such a tragedy, Weybret said, and why he and Shock's family hope the killer is brought to justice soon.
“Tom was angry about the violence in our society, and it's a bittersweet irony that he died in this way,” Weybret said. “Justice needs to be done. It won't bring Tom back, but this is wrong. It’s a devastating blow to our community.”
The Lodi Police Department is asking anyone with information regarding this shooting to call 209-333-6727 or Detective Hitchcock at 209-333-6871. You may also contact the Lodi Area Crime Stoppers at 209-369-2746 to remain anonymous. (Please reference LPD Case #18-4751.)