Peter Kaisen suicide: Does Veteran Affairs have blood on its hands? An Islip Long Island man’s suicide after denied mental health raises new questions.
Peter Kaisen a 76 year old Islip man, fatally shot himself in the parking lot of a Veteran Affairs hospital in Long Island, NY over the weekend after allegedly being declined an appointment for mental health issues.
The shooting occurred outside Building 92 at the Northport Veterans Affairs Medical center on Sunday, with the man having been a patient at the VA hospital.
Asked what may have motivated Kaisen, who was married and had children and grandchildren, Suffolk County police declined to comment.
However, two hospital employees talking anonymously to the New York Times, revealed Peter Kaisen had been frustrated that he could not see a doctor in the emergency room, where he sought help with mental health issues.
One of the sources told how 76-year-old veteran shot himself inside his car after being denied service in the ER.
The source wondered why Kaisen had not been sent to the hospital’s mental health center, or put in contact with a psychologist by phone.
Told the unnamed hospital staff person: ‘Someone dropped the ball,’
‘They should not have turned him away.’
Christopher Goodman, a spokesperson for the hospital, said there was no indication Peter Kaisen had shown up at the ER prior to his suicide, which took place at around 12.30pm on Sunday.
The shooting death has led to the FBI launching an investigation into Kaisen’s death because it had taken place on federal property.
The shooting death has led to additional scrutiny on the VA medical system, which serves over 9 million servicemen. A recent report exposed 1,700 veterans at a Phoenix hospital facing chronic wait times and were ‘at risk of being lost or forgotten’.
The VA later confirmed that at least 35 veterans died while awaiting treatment in Phoenix.
VA officials in Phoenix have also been accused of falsifying records to cover up the long wait times for medical appointments.
An internal audit showed that more than 57,000 new applicants for care have had to wait at least three months for initial appointments and an additional 64,000 newly enrolled vets who requested appointments never got them.
That scandal led to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki resigning his post in May 2014.
V.A. data released in July revealed that 20 veterans commit suicide each day. A large majority of those who commit suicide, 65 percent, are at least 50 years old.
A report via freebeacon notes more than 7,400 veterans killing themselves in 2014, the latest year of available data, accounting for 18 percent of all U.S. suicides, even though former service members make up less than 9 percent of the entire population.
A study released by the Government Accountability Office in April of this year indicated that the system had yet to fix its scheduling problems.
@BlissTabitha THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE Peter A. Kaisen incredibly sorry for your families loss.After defending country your left to wolves
— Marjorie Carman (@MarjorieCarman) August 25, 2016
I tried investigating paperwork for NY veterans, people like Peter A Kaisen of Islip NY not properly cared for. My condolences & sorrow
— Joan Ann Mikolajczyk (@JoanMikolajczyk) August 25, 2016
— Carolyn Bailey (@Carobailey864) August 25, 2016