The wife of a Kansas City lawyer shot and killed Wednesday is struggling to grasp the enormity of her husband’s death, a spokeswoman for the woman said a day after the tragedy.
Jill Chadwick, a spokeswoman for The University of Kansas Health System, spoke on behalf of Emily Riegel, a palliative care doctor within the system.
A palliative care doctor helps people living with chronic or serious illnesses and end-of-life care.
Riegel is the wife of Tom Pickert, who was shot to death on the front porch of his Brookside home. She called police about 8 a.m. Wednesday after hearing gunshots and finding her husband fatally wounded.
“Emily is so alone in this moment,” Chadwick said Thursday. “Her job is dedicated to doing everything she can to help those people have a better quality of life and be stress free and not suffer in pain. She asked our office today if we could maybe help her and be her palliative care in this moment, and that’s what we are trying to do.”
Pickert, 39, reportedly had just returned home after walking his children to school near their house in the 200 block of West 66th Terrace when he was shot.
Police have not released any suspect information or identified a person of interest in the shooting.
Chadwick said she spoke with Riegel, who expressed a wide range of emotion about Pickert’s death.
“What I thought was so remarkable is just how strong her voice was,” Chadwick said. “I could hear anger in her voice and I could hear concern for her children in her voice.”
Riegel, Chadwick said, has struggled with some of the crime scene images shown on local news broadcasts and the Internet.
“She just said that is so painful right now,” Chadwick said.
Chadwick said family members are trying to determine how to best memorialize Pickert.
“They are trying to figure out (funeral) arrangements, and what and how they want to remember Tom,” she said.
Pickert was a lawyer for the firm Fowler Pickert Eisenmenger LLC in Kansas City. As a personal injury lawyer, Pickert focused on medical malpractice, nursing home and long-term care abuse cases, according to his biography on the firm’s website.