Records: Shooting response not what VA Center claimed

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) –  Five weeks ago today on Monday, May 5 a man was shot at Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The Dayton VAMC’s Public Affairs Office claimed time and time again that employees were notified three different ways within ten minutes of the shooting, but 2 NEWS Investigates obtained records from that day that are inconsistent with that claim.

2 NEWS Investigates filed a “Freedom of Information Act” request on May 13, 2014 after hearing from people who questioned the VA Medical Center’s response to the shooting.  We received the records today, June 16, 2014.

According to the Dayton Police Department, it was 12:10 p.m. Monday, May 5 when a man was shot at the Dayton VA Medical Center.

A news release from the Dayton VAMC issued the day after states, “All three notification systems were used to notify employees within ten minutes of the incident.”

That would mean all three were used by 12:20.  But that’s not what records obtained by 2 NEWS Investigates show.

The first warning went out at 12:15 when the Code Silver was announced over the PA.  The VA explains a code silver as a hostile situation involving a weapon.

The second communication was an email to employees, time stamped 12:26 p.m. which is sixteen minutes after the shooting.
It was marked high importance.  It reads,”Shelter in place immediately.  Lock doors and turn off lights and stay until further notice from police.  This is not a drill or an exercise.”

Our public records request also included an email that was sent at 12:34 pm.  In bold print you find,” Please stay locked in place and away from all windows.”
“PERSON WITH WEAPON, CIVIL DISTURBANCE-HOSTAGE.”

There were no records that pertained to text messages which the public affairs office referred to as the third notification system that day.

Neil Moore is awaiting trial for the shooting, and 2 NEWS Investigates is waiting for answers from the Dayton VA Medical Center.

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