WHITE CITY, Ore. -- One man is in the hospital Thursday after an officer-involved shooting at the White City VA. The Jackson County Sheriff's Office said deputies were called to help VA Police when a patient became combative with the admissions area.
Rhonda Haney, Public Affairs Officer, said the facility went into a lockdown and stayed locked down for the rest of the day. Haney said all appointments are cancelled Thursday and Friday.
Joel Setzer, Out-patient Veteran, said it's a sad day for the VA.
"I hurt inside because it shouldn't have come to this. It shouldn't take a shooting to have them open up their eyes on healthcare for mental health here," Setzer said.
One veteran who witnessed the shooting did not want to be identified, but described the scene. He said he was walking down the hallway to get his medicines when he heard the argument.
"It didn't seem like it was a big deal so I continued on, got my medicine, two minutes later I'm walking up the hallway and it's getting louder. I looked down the hallway and I heard someone yell 'He's got a knife', and then boom."
Kathy Negrete, the veteran's Mother, said her son has been trying to get healthcare at the VA for several months now. She said she does not know what her family will do next.
"What am I supposed to do now, that's our biggest concern, what are we supposed to do now, where are we supposed to go now to get our son help," Negrete said.
She said her son served tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, which had a very significant effect on him.
"You can have five members of your family calling out there crying saying he needs help and they'll put you on hold," Negrete said.
Setzer said he wants to know why officers shot the man.
"Why did they shoot him, that's my big question is why, knowing the PTSD issues that vets have here," Setzer said.
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office will continue to investigate the shooting. Anyone who saw or heard anything should call them.
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