Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

May 8, 2013

BREAKING: Fired doctor arrested Wednesday after he was found drunk with shotgun in ETMC parking lot; police say he threatened a Middle Eastern doctor about 9/11 the day before

Ben Tinsley
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE — A former ETMC-Jacksonville doctor who was discovered intoxicated and in possession of a shotgun in the hospital's parking lot Wednesday morning was arrested and taken into custody by police, authorities confirmed.

Laurence William Cunningham, 57, a Jacksonville resident, is a pulmonary disease specialist, according to the Texas Medical Board website.

Jacksonville Police Chief Reece Daniel said Cunningham was fired a day earlier after he is alleged to have made threats against another doctor of Middle Eastern descent.  

“The report says he thought the other doctor was happy about 9/11 and the Boston bombings and he didn't like it,” Daniel said. “ ... We are charging him with public intoxication and making terroristic threats.”

According to his TMB profile, Cunningham was convicted of Driving While Intoxicated in Tyler in November 2001. The doctor also was fined $500 by TMB in February 2008 for failing to correct inaccurate information in his correspondence and advertisements, the website shows.

Cunningham is expected to spend the night in jail and be arraigned Thursday morning, the chief said.

“That's about the extent of what I can release at the moment,” Daniel said Wednesday afternoon.

A spokeswoman for  ETMC-Jacksonville declined to comment Wednesday afternoon.