Family says VA victim stepped in and saved lives

Paul Burnside
Paul Burnside

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The stepbrother of the man shot at the Dayton VA Medical Center Monday shared his version of what happened with 2 NEWS Monday evening.

Paul Burnside, 61, is at Miami Valley Hospital recovering from a gunshot to the ankle area.

Craig Dearing says Burnside is a former Marine. He says Burnside jumped in when a man showed up in a break room with a gun.

“He tried to shoot somebody else, and my brother saved a whole lot of lives today,” said Dearing.

Dearing just left the hospital when we caught up with him.

He says his stepbrother told him he was playing cards in the break room, in the basement of the VA Center.

He didn’t know who 59-year-old Neil Moore meant to shoot, but he wasn’t surprised to hear Burnside sprang into action.

Dearing says he’s concerned that someone could just walk into the VA Center with a weapon to begin with.

“That’s how weak VA security is, you know and I can’t believe that somebody can walk in there in the VA, the veterans. People that fight for us. People that save our lives, go overseas and fight and can walk in there and go and kill people that’s still serving us.”

Dearing says he forgives the shooter, but he’s also praying that he gets the help he needs. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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