VA physician shot by patient: 'Highest priority' was to ensure staff, patients were safe

Emergency medicine physician Bruce Goldfeder, MD, said his main goal during a shooting incident at the West Palm Beach (Fla.) VA Medical Center was to protect patients and staff from danger, according to The Palm Beach Post.

Three things to know:

1. Dr. Goldfeder discussed the Feb. 28 incident with The Palm Beach Post while recovering from his home. He said he heard from an ER technician that there was a shooter in the building.

"I heard gunshots go off, and they seemed to become louder and closer to me. So I turned around from my hidden position, and I saw a man with a gun in his hand. He looked at me and he was close-range to the other doctors," he said.

2. Police later arrested 59-year-old Larry Ray Bon, a double-amputee homeless Army veteran who had come to the hospital Feb. 27 to seek treatment for an unspecified condition. He was later transferred to the ER just before 6:30 p.m. for a mental health evaluation.

3. Dr. Goldfeder said he didn't know Mr. Bon was a patient at the time of the incident. He said Mr. Bon was approaching his location and yelled something about cigarettes. Dr. Goldfeder said he used the moment to distract Mr. Bon and tried to grab the gun out of his hand. The gun discharged and shot Dr. Goldfeder in the back of the neck.

"We struggled to get the gun. I got the gun and I took it and then I handed it off to the other doctor and I said, 'Listen, I've been shot. I'm a patient now. Put me on a stretcher,'" Dr. Goldfeder told The Palm Beach Post.

"I wanted to secure myself and make sure that he wasn't able to shoot again at myself, staff and patients. That was my highest priority," he added.

To access the full report, click here.

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