Bethesda CEO John Holaday Dies After Being Shot Near Fire in Charlotte

The Maryland founder of a drug-disposal company died Friday after he was shot and wounded near the scene of a fire in Charlotte, North Carolina.

John W. Holaday, of Bethesda, Maryland, was the chairman and CEO of DisposeRx, which specializes in packets that safely destroy prescription drugs.

The 74-year-old was critically wounded Monday afternoon in uptown Charlotte in what his company called a random shooting. A 16-year-old boy is charged with murder in connection to the gunfire.

"Words cannot describe the immense sadness and grief we feel in losing our leader, mentor, colleague and friend," DisposeRx President William Simpson said in a statement. "While we will continue to struggle with the senseless and tragic way in which John died, we will honor him every day in the way that we operate and represent DisposeRx."

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have said Holaday was critically wounded just before 4 p.m. Monday as he stood near the scene of a restaurant fire in downtown Charlotte. He had been headed to a business meeting, his company told WCNC-TV in Charlotte.

Gunshots rang out after a fight at the nearby Epicentre mall, WCNC-TV reported.

Holaday was rushed to a hospital with life-threatening injuries.

He died Friday, a spokeswoman for DisposeRx said.

Authorities say multiple charges have been filed against a 16-year-old boy, including attempted murder. Two other teens and a 20-year-old also were arrested, The Charlotte Observer reported. They were charged with fighting and disturbing the peace.

Holaday was a doctor with a Ph.D. from the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. He previously served at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research as an Army captain and was an adjunct professor in anesthesiology and critical care medicine at Johns Hopkins University, according to his bio on his company's website. He held more than 90 patents and published five books and more than 230 scientific articles, the bio says.

Stay with News4 for more details on this developing story.

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