Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Feds say Illinois man who threatened V.A. arrested at hospital with gun

Feds say Illinois man who threatened V.A. arrested at hospital with gun

By Robert Patrick
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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Federal prosecutors on Tuesday said that a man who had threatened employees of the Veterans Affairs hospital in Marion, Ill. was arrested outside the hospital later with a loaded gun.

Mark N. Harmon, 29, of Shawneetown, allegedly told a nurse at around midnight on Oct. 8 that he was on the way and that she “better have those rent-a-cops there” when he arrived, according to an affidavit filed in court by Roy Thompson, acting chief of the V.A. police department.

Asked if he was armed, Harmon said, “I have a Glock and I’m going to fill that place with lead,” Thompson wrote.

Early in the morning of Oct. 9, Harmon drove to the hospital and tried to drive around waiting officers, Thompson wrote. After officers stopped him, they found a fully-loaded Glock 23 handgun in the car, along with another 13 bullets, he wrote.

Harmon was charged with possession of a firearm on federal property with the intent to commit a crime, which carries a potential penalty of up to five years in prison.

Reached at home, Harmon’s father Tom said that he knew that his son had been arrested but could speak to the truth of any accusations against him.

Harmon does not yet have a lawyer, according to the court file.


There is NO condoning what Mr Harmon has done, my question is what drove him to this point with the VA? Were they denying him treatment if so why? Was the real problem with the regional office denying his possible compensation claims? If he needed mental health help, will he receive it while he is incarcerated?

I am sure there is another side to this story that we will most likely never hear, because of these actions. His age indicates he is a veteran of either Iraq or Afghanistan he is too young to be a First Gulf War veteran, maybe he was discharged from the military before ever being deployed, many people are discharged before completing training and if he was not injured in training then the VA does not consider him to be a veteran then, sometime back they changed the rules to having completed 24 months of service or being injured in a combat zone prior to reaching the 24 month period. The rules have changed so much over the past 20 years it's hard to tell who is eligible for veterans care any longer, it's not a cut and dry case.

But using a gun is never the answer......................

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