Those close to the Gabrieles respond to their passing

By: Sarah Platt Email
By: Sarah Platt Email

Neighbors, friends, and a former co-worker of Dr. Gabriele are expressing their shock over the Gabrieles' deaths.

Many were in disbelief after learning that the couple ended their lives this morning. One neighbor says Dr. Gabriele insisted he was innocent and that he and his wife would fight the charges against them.

Those who knew the couple say they enjoyed ballroom dancing and the eye practice was their life.

Neighbors say the Gabrieles' Granger home was usually quiet-- and that the couple, married with no children, usually kept to themselves.

“Just like everyone else, wave, say hi, did yard work, other than that, didn't really talk to them, didn't see anything unusual over there,” says Rishabh Kohli, a neighbor.

“I'm very sorry to hear what happened. I can't believe they would do such a thing, they had everything going for them,” says another neighbor, Marianne Cira.

News of the couple's death hits a nerve with the local dance community. Dan D' Day runs the dance studio where the couple practiced. For years, O'Day says the pair competed in ballroom dancing contests around the country.

“Probably the nicest social people you'd meet, they liked everybody, and everybody liked them, they were extremely pleasant,” says O’Day.

O'Day says their interest in dancing dwindled when the feds started investigating.

“All of a sudden, being accused of not doing things right and then everything else piled up, maybe they made mistakes. We don't know. A lot of people make mistakes, but it's hard to think it drove them to that level of outcome at the end, you know,” adds O’Day.

Meantime, by phone from Indianapolis, Dr. Stacey Pruitt, an optometrist that used to work with Dr. Gabrielle-- expressed her shock over the couple's death.

“They were in general great people, charity care, animals, very few doctors will come on a weekend or evening and not be upset or angry. That was his duty, what he felt was his duty,” says Dr. Stacey Pruitt.

Because of professional differences, Dr. Pruitt says she left Gabriele's practice about two years ago. Never, she says, did she expect this.

“I would never have wished this upon anybody and feel terrible what went through their minds prior to, when they were deciding what they felt they needed to do. Wish they would have reached out, wish end would have been different,” adds Dr. Pruitt.

Friends say Dr. Gabriele and his wife Marcella are from the Columbus, Ohio area and have been married for close to 20 years

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