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Veteran dies after self-inflicted gunshot at El Paso VA Medical Center parking lot

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- Regional Veterans Affairs leaders were in El Paso today after a man suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the El Paso VA clinic's parking lot and died soon after. 

Details surrounding the shooting remain murky, but a VA spokeswoman said the victim was a veteran.

Witnesses told ABC-7 that the man had been seeking psychiatric care at the mental health clinic before he died Wednesday.

ABC-7 reached out to the El Paso VA Healthcare System to confirm the circumstances leading up to the man's death but were not given answers because of privacy laws and the ongoing investigation.

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A statement from the El Paso VA read was sent to ABC-7:

An individual was found unresponsive yesterday in the parking lot of the El Paso VA Health Care System and immediately rushed to a local community emergency room where they were unfortunately pronounced deceased. We are extremely saddened by this loss and send our deepest sympathies to this person’s family and loved ones.  

After securing the scene, VA Police are now assisting the Fort Bliss Criminal Investigations Department (CID) in investigating this incident. Because of privacy considerations, we are unable to discuss the details of the investigation at this time.  

We are encouraging our employees who may have been affected by this loss, to contact the VA Employee Assistance Program. For Veterans, our staff continually reminds them that VA offers same-day mental health care services at our main facility and each of our outpatient clinics. In addition, Veterans are encouraged to dial 9-8-8 and press 1 for free confidential crisis support 24/7.   

ABC-7 spoke with El Paso Chief Military Officer, Paul Albright, who discussed the city's resources for veterans and active service members, linked here.

"The El Paso Veteran community may be a large community, almost 53,000, however we are small, knit community and know each other. When we hear about a veteran suicide, we immediately think, was it one of my buddies, was it someone I served with?", said Albright.

This is a developing news story. Download the KVIA news app to get alerts the moment news breaks.

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David Gonzalez

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Larry Monarrez

Larry Monarrez is ABC-7’s assistant news director.

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