Doctor subdues shooter at West Palm Beach VA Medical Center

FBI says doctor wounded in emergency room shooting

By Andrea Torres - Digital Reporter/Producer, Christian De La Rosa - Reporter

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. - After a double amputee started shooting in the emergency room of the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center, a doctor turned into a hero, FBI agents said.

The doctor subdued the 59-year-old shooter, Larry Ray Bon, before he could continue to fire his weapon Wednesday night. FBI Special Agent Justin Fleck said the doctor, who was the only one wounded, was brave. 

"During the shooting, in between shots, the doctor saw an opportunity to jump on the suspect and disarm him," Fleck said. 

Bon had managed to hide the gun under his wheelchair's cushion when he passed through security Wednesday morning. He remained combative for hours and was about to undergo a mental health evaluation about 6:20 p.m. when he pulled out the gun.

Bon, who served in the U.S. Army in the 1970s, had a warrant out for his arrest in Michigan. He was uncooperative during his arrest. 

A bullet grazed a VA employee who suffered a minor injury and the doctor was injured in the neck. The doctor's colleagues were treated at St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach and released. 

Riviera Beach police were called to assist the Department of Veterans Affairs police and the FBI at the 217-bed facility.

The medical center has been providing care to military veterans since 1995. According to Mary Kay Rutan, a VA public information officer, the medical center was operational Wednesday night and appointments were set to go on as scheduled Thursday. 

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