Gunman at Florida VA Hospital Sentenced to 16-Plus Years

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The West Palm Beach VA Medical Center in Riviera Beach, Florida. (VA image)
The West Palm Beach VA Medical Center in Riviera Beach, Florida. (VA image)

MIAMI (AP) — A double amputee veteran who opened fire at a Florida hospital, injuring a doctor, was sentenced to more than 16 years in federal prison on Friday.

Larry Ray Bon was at a Veterans Affairs hospital emergency room in West Palm Beach in 2019 when he became frustrated and grabbed a gun in his wheelchair and began firing. A doctor tried to tackle him and was shot in the neck, but eventually wrestled the gun away from Bon. The doctor was severely injured, but survived.

Another employee was grazed in the gunfire, according to court records.

Bon pleaded guilty to charges related to the shooting and was initially ordered to be held at at a mental health facility after a federal judge determined he was suffering from a mental illness. He was later determined to not need psychiatric hospitalization.

“When this defendant fired shots inside the West Palm Beach VA medical center, he turned a place of healing and comfort into one of violence, fear, and confusion for the U.S. military veterans and medical personnel who were present that day," Juan Antonio Gonzalez, acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, said in a news release.

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