John Waldron Holaday, PhD, founder and CEO of Southern Pines, North Carolina-based drug disposal company DisposeRx, died Friday after being shot four days earlier while standing outside a restaurant fire in uptown Charlotte.
Holaday was near the scene of a restaurant fire when he was hit by a bullet believed to have been fired from inside another nearby establishment, according to a report in the Charlotte Observer.
DisposeRx officials tell the Observer that Holaday was walking to a meeting at the time of the shooting. First responders were able to treat Holaday quickly, as they had been on site to respond to the restaurant fire. The shooting and the fire are not believed to be related. On Oct. 1, police charged a 16-year-old in connection with the shooting, and two other teens and a 20-year-old were also arrested and charged in relation to the incident.
Holaday founded DisposeRx in 2015 to facilitate the safe disposal of unused medications, preventing both diversion and the pollution of water supplies. In 2018, Holaday testified before members of Congress regarding opioids and prescription drug abuse. He has also spoken at the Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit.
"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 on the company’s website. "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. We are more committed than ever to fulfilling his dreams."