Vet commits suicide on VA administration grounds

A veteran drove to the Phoenix VA headquarters this weekend, and then committed suicide in the parking lot.

Sources say the man was trying to make a statement, after numerous claims that our local VA has been letting suicidal veterans fall through the cracks.

Police say the 53-year-old veteran drove to the Phoenix VA regional office with a goodbye note and gun.

Sunday night 53-year-old Thomas Murphy drove to the VA with the intent of ending his life.

"I don't think there's anything more symbolic than to complete suicide on VA grounds," said Brandon Coleman.

Coleman works with at-risk vets. He came forward earlier this year to blow the whistle on the Phoenix VA's failure, to properly care for veterans on the verge of suicide.

He has since been put on leave.

Coleman says the VA is struggling to hire mental health and social workers, and vets are slipping through the cracks.

"It's an ultimate slap in the face to the VA, that something is wrong, to take the extra step to want to finish the act of suicide on VA property so that way they have to clean up the mess," he said.

According to police, Murphy left a note describing his feelings and saying goodbye. A witness saw Murphy drive into the parking lot and heard a gunshot.

A gun was found next to Murphy's body. Coleman didn't know the vet but believes he may have been upset with a claim, an appeal, or the medical care he got at the Phoenix VA.

"I think he would want to speak with us about this, I think it was an ultimate show of disregard and just frustration with a broken system," said Coleman.

The VA released a statement saying the veteran was alone when he took his own life and the death was under investigation.
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