Phoenix VA: Vet took his own life on hospital grounds

- UPDATE (10/23/2017): Officials identified the 33-year-old who killed himself at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs medical center on October 20 as Adrian Delgado.

Original Story

A 33-year-old man took his own life at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs medical center.

The VA says the man fatally shot himself outside the Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center on Friday morning.

The man was in a secluded area and nobody else was injured. Two years ago, a veteran killed himself in the parking lot of a different VA office in Phoenix.

The VA says about 20 veterans die by suicide each day.

Veterans feel sense of pain after hearing news of the incident

"It just grabs me very hard," said Richard Bonilla, who is a Vietnam War veteran. For Bonilla, it doesn't take knowing a veteran personally to feel a sense of pain when hearing about their death.

"It takes me back to day one when I was overseas in Vietnam," said Bonilla. "You lose a brother, a fellow veteran. It's very hard."  

Especially when it comes to one taking their own life.

"All of our staff, there's a profound sense of sadness," said Dr. Maureen McCarthy.

Veteran suicide is a troubling and heartbreaking trend the nation has seen. It also begs one question.


"Sometimes, the act is an impulsive one, and sometimes, it's triggered by a loss," said Dr. McCarthy.

The truth is, the scope of why's is wide, and while there has been a connection of PTSD to suicide, Dr. McCarthy said its not always the case.

"Is there a hopelessness about something in their life?" said Dr. McCarthy. "What is it that's triggering someone right now? It's hard to say. For everybody, it's different." 

For Bonilla, this is part of what helped over his hurdles.

"When you receive empathy from your fellow marine, fellow servicemen, that is the biggest thing," said Bonilla.

The Associated Press (AP) contributed to this report.

Veterans Crisis Line
Online Chat:
Phone: 1-800-273-8255, and press "1"
TTY: 1-800-799-4889
Text: 838255

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Lifeline Crisis Chat:
Phone: 1-800-273-8255
Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (In Spanish) / La Red Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio
Phone/Teléfono: 1-888-628-9454

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