Vet Kills Himself In VA Parking Lot After Allegedly Being Denied Care

Photo via Facebook | Northport VA

A 76-year-old veteran committed suicide on Aug. 21 outside the Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center on Long Island, local police officials said.

Peter A. Kaisen was pronounced dead after he shot himself in the hospital’s parking lot.

The VA has been under scrutiny since 2014, when the department confirmed that as many as 40 patients had died awaiting treatment at one of its facilities in Phoenix.

An anonymous hospital worker told The New York Times that Kaisen was angry after being denied care in the hospital’s emergency room for issues related to his mental health.

Related: 20 Veterans Died By Suicide A Day In 2014 »

The worker seemed to draw a direct link between Kaisen’s alleged hospital visit and his suicide, saying, “He went to the E.R. and was denied service. And then he went to his car and shot himself.”

A spokesman for the hospital told the Times that there “was no indication that [Kaisen] presented to the E.R. prior to the incident.”

In an Aug. 28 Facebook post, the Northport VA Medical Center stated, “As of this posting (Aug 28), there has been no evidence to support an assertion made earlier this week by anonymous sources to one news outlet that a Veteran in need of care was turned away by Northport VA Medical Center.”

According to Times, the Northport hospital had closed all five of its operating rooms after black particles “began falling from air ducts,” and has since been “under scrutiny for mismanagement and poor care.”  

Kristofer Goldsmith, an Iraq War veteran and Long Island native who had been treated in the VA Northport emergency room in 2012, told Task & Purpose that doctors misdiagnosed an infection in his right hand over the course of three separate visits until he eventually developed sepsis.

“On my first visit, they said, ‘don’t pick your scabs,’ and sent me home with a band-aid and no medication,” Goldsmith said.

UPDATE: This story has been updated to include a public statement from the Northport VA Medical Center released on Aug. 28 (9/1/2016; 10:12 am) . 

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs paid $13,000 over a three-month period for a senior official's biweekly commute to Washington from his home in California, according to expense reports obtained by ProPublica.

Read More Show Less
Saturday Night Live/screenshot

President Donald Trump said that "retribution" should be "looked into" after this week's opening skit of Saturday Night Live featured Alec Baldwin being mean to him again.

Read More Show Less
Staff Sgt. John Eller conducts pre-flights check on his C-17 Globemaster III Jan. 3 prior to taking off from Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii for a local area training mission. Sgt. Eller is a loadmaster from the 535th Airlift Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo)

CUCUTA, Colombia — The Trump administration ratcheted up pressure Saturday on beleaguered Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, dispatching U.S. military planes filled with humanitarian aid to this city on the Venezuelan border.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan speaks at the annual Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany February 15, 2019. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert

ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters) - Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Saturday he had not yet determined whether a border wall with Mexico was a military necessity or how much Pentagon money would be used.

President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border without congressional approval.

Read More Show Less
A pair of U.S. Navy Grumman F-14A Tomcat aircraft from Fighter Squadron VF-211 Fighting Checkmates in flight over Iraq in 2003/Department of Defense

Since the sequel to the 1986 action flick (and wildly successful Navy recruitment tool) Top Gun, was announced, there's been a lot of speculation on what Top Gun: Maverick will be about when it premieres in June 2020. While the plot is still relatively unclear, we know Tom Cruise will reprise his role as Naval aviator Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, and he'll be joined by a recognizable costar: The iconic F-14 Tomcat.

It looks like the old war plane will be coming out of retirement for more than just a cameo. A number of recently surfaced photos show an F-14 Tomcat aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, alongside Cruise and members of the film's production crew, the Drive's Tyler Rogoway first reported earlier this week.

Read More Show Less