With each phone call Tuesday, the staff at Dr. Ken Atkinson’s Centennial office broke the news to patients who hadn’t yet learned the tragic news.
The staff took condolence calls from other patients who did already know about the death of Dr. Atkinson.
Atkinson was shot and killed as he was trying to help out a neighbor who had also been shot in the stomach just minutes before.
Tuesday, Atkinson’s staff opened his office for patients with appointments because they say it’s what the doctor would have wanted.
"He's taken care of them for so many years. He's seen the kids that have grown up to be the parents and the parents are grandparents now, and he's seeing the grandkids and he would want that," said Mari DeLapp, who manages the office.
Doctors who were friends of Atkinson answered the call to see his patients on Tuesday.
"He’s a committed person. Very committed to his wife and his children, and always steadfast in doing what needed to be done," said Dr. Annette Kenney
Staff worked to cancel upcoming, non-urgent appointments until the future of the practice is determined.
But, in the face of tragedy, they were gracious and kind enough to share a few memories of the man they called, 'Doc.'
“What a good person he was. What a good husband he was. What a good family person, he was also strong in his faith,” said DeLapp.