Veteran Turned Away At ER, Kills Himself In VA Parking Lot

A 76-year-old veteran who was frustrated after being unable to see an emergency room doctor for mental health concerns went back to his car and shot himself in the parking lot shortly after noon on Sunday.

According to the New York Times, Peter A. Kaisen, 76, of Islip, New York, had gone to the Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center on Long Island, where he had been a patient before, reported the Suffolk County Police Department.  

He committed suicide outside Building 92, the nursing home at the medical center.

A hospital employee said, “Someone dropped the ball – they should not have turned him away.”   The employee said Mr. Kaisen should have been referred to the hospital’s mental health center – Building 64, which is open 24/7.   The employee further stated that even though a psychologist is not normally at the E.R., one was always on call.

A spokesman for the hospital, Christopher Goodman, claims there was “no indication that the man presented to the E.R. prior to the incident.”   NY Times said it is yet unclear if an official record is on file of  Kaisen’s attempt to see a doctor in the E.R.

The New York Times said the Northport VA hospital “has been under scrutiny for mismanagement and poor care” and had closed all five of its operating rooms for months due to black particles falling from the air ducts.

Since Mr. Kaisen’s death happened on federal property, the FBI is investigating, according to Suffolk County detective, Lt. Kevin Beyrer.

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