Standoff At Veterans Hospital Ends With Arrest
VT State Police Tactical Team Has Suspect in Custody
By Randy Gyllenhaal
POSTED: 5:07 pm EDT July 21, 2011
UPDATED: 11:21 pm EDT July 21, 2011
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, Vt. — A man is in custody after a standoff that lasted several hours at the VA hospital in White River Junction.
According to Hartford police, a veteran came into the hospital Thursday afternoon seeking treatment, but he was armed with a BB gun, pepper spray and a knife.
The man took no hostages but holed himself up in a hospital room as police got to the scene. Police say he threatened anybody who tried to come in, and even sprayed a police dog with pepper spray. Just after 5:30 p.m., police moved in.
"The male emerged from the room with pepper spray in one hand and a knife in the other," said Capt. Ray Keefe with the Vermont State Police. Tactical teams shot the man with non-lethal force and subdued him.
"We wished no injury to him, but that was his decision to advance on our people armed with a knife, pepper spray and a firearm," said Keefe.
A portion of the hospital was evacuated as a precaution, and an entrance was shut down to traffic.
"He's suffered from a lot of depression in his life," said Peter Hogg, the uncle of the man involved. Police are not yet releasing the suspect's name.
The suspect's uncle says that his nephew, a 60-year-old Navy veteran, isn't violent — just severely depressed.
"They have diagnosed it as extreme depression and were trying to adjust his medications," said Hogg. "Veterans have a tough time, so it's important to try and keep on top of what their problems are and help them out as best we can."
The man could face federal charges since the incident occurred on government property.