DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The VA Medical Center in Dayton told its second and third shift employees to return to work as normal after a shooting on campus Monday afternoon.
The decision was made after the all-clear was given and law enforcement deemed the situation under control.
The suspect, Neil Moore, 59, sits in the Montgomery County Jail. Formal charges are expected tomorrow. He faces felony charges including assault with a dangerous weapon.
Moore spoke only to 2 NEWS as he was walked out of the Dayton Police Department Monday afternoon.
An exact motive for the shooting of Paul Burnside is still under investigation and it is unclear what kind of relationship the two men had at the time of the shooting.
Moore told our crew, “I’m sorry for what I did. I didn’t mean to.” He said he was sorry “to the people he hurt.” He says it was an accident.
Moore went on to tell our Robert Lowrey and videographer Josh Ames that he didn’t mean to hurt anyone.
Moore was taken into custody by hospital security at Good Samaritan Hospital after coming to the hospital seeking psychiatric services. Moore, a former employee at the VA Center is now in custody at the Dayton Police Department.
The shooting happened around noon in the basement of the main facility.
The victim, Paul Burnside, was shot in the ankle. Burnside is a housekeeping aide. He started working at the VAMC in February 1998.
Moore is a former employee having worked as a housekeeping aide from August 1986 until his retirement in October 2013.
“He actually struggled with Mr. Moore over the weapon and that was when he was shot,” said Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl.
Moore suffered a minor injury and is expected to be OK.
When the shooting happened, police and medics responded and staged in the area at 4100 W. Third St. while buildings at the center were evacuated and others locked down. Police conducted a room-to-room search, but said they had no other reason to believe there were any other suspects.
Congressman Mike Turner released a statement Monday afternoon:
“I am deeply troubled by the events that took place today at the Dayton VA Medical Center. Thank you to Director Glenn Costie and our first responders from multiple jurisdictions who acted immediately to protect all veterans and employees from danger. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the injured and his family as well as the entire community at the Dayton VA.”
VA Center CEO Glenn Costie praised the actions of his staff and emergency responders.
“There was a sense of command, there was a sense of calm. Staff knew what to do. Staff knew what to do in response to our code that we issued. They began to shelter in place. Then as they were able to, they were escorted out of the building,” Costie said.
The center was closed and all appointments were canceled for the day Monday. The VA Medical Center is re-opening. Second and third shift employees are working normal shifts.
VA officials said any vets that need immediate medical care should visit their local emergency room.
If you need information on someone at the VA Center, you can call that person’s room directly, or call the switchboard at 268- 6511.