February 28, 2019

Tim Kauffman

[email protected]

VA Union Responds to West Palm Beach Shooting

Categories: VA

Employees’ fast action and training mitigated incident, AFGE says

WASHINGTON - The American Federation of Government Employees, which represents 250,000 employees in the Department of Veterans Affairs, is offering words of support and appreciation following a Wednesday night shooting at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center in Florida, represented by AFGE Local 507.

"This shooting incident could have had far more dire consequences if not for the brave and heroic actions of the doctor on duty, our members, and the entire medical team, who acted quickly and drew on their extensive emergency response training to respond to yesterday's active shooter incident," said AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr., who was a psychiatric nurse in the VA for more than 20 years.

“While we are grateful that this incident was quickly contained, next time we might not be so lucky. AFGE will continue to fight to enhance security at our VA medical facilities, to protect both patients and their health care providers from dangerous incidents like this,” Cox said.

According to news reports, a hospital patient opened fire in the emergency room just as he was about to undergo a mental health evaluation. One doctor was shot in the neck, and one other worker was grazed by a bullet, before the doctor tackled the shooter and disarmed him.

“The entire AFGE family wishes a speedy recovery to both employees who were injured in this attack, and we offer our sincere gratitude to all the hospital employees and staff who helped prevent this incident from having a worse outcome,” said AFGE District 5 National Vice President David Mollett, an Army veteran who was a registered nurse in the VA for 30 years, and whose district includes Florida.

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