White City, Ore. — The VA campus in White City is quiet again, 24 hours after an officer-involved shooting.
Just one day before, Jackson County Sheriff’s Deputies were swarming the facility responding to the officer-involved shooting of a veteran.
“It’s scary to some veterans… especially with the guys out there that have PTSD,” a veteran, who wants to remain anonymous, said.
Detectives say 34-year-old Gilbert Negrete was at the VA for a scheduled appointment, when he started pacing and, according to workers, making paranoid statements.
At one point, he’s accused of pointing a knife at an employee.
VA Police were called and tried non-lethal force, but eventually fired a single shot hitting Negrete in the upper chest.
“It’s frustrating but, ya know what, it was bound to happen. It was bound to happen here,” VA outpatient Joel Setzer said.
VA outpatient Joel Setzer says it breaks his heart to hear what happened in admissions.
He says he had a positive experience at the VA campus, but he thinks care has gone downhill.
“You have to take care of the vets. That’s what they’re here for,” Setzer said.
While he wasn’t there when the shooting happened, he’s concerned Negrete’s case wasn’t handled properly.
Now he’s hoping the incident will serve as a wake-up call.
“It’s sad that this had to happen for a change to be made, but hopefully the VA will open their eyes, and start to change their admissions process,” Setzer said.
NBC5 tried to speak with representatives from the VA.
Public Affairs Specialist Rhonda Haney says the facility is first talking to employees and patients about the incident before giving more information to the public.
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