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Man charged in Ohio veterans hospital shooting

  • Article by: LISA CORNWELL
  • Associated Press
  • May 6, 2014 - 7:05 PM

CINCINNATI — A man accused of a shooting at a veterans hospital said he intended to intimidate former co-workers he believed were having inappropriate relationships with his wife and daughter, according to court documents.

One person was shot in the ankle when Neil Moore's gun went off in a hospital break room, authorities said.

Moore, 59, was charged Tuesday in Dayton federal court with assault with a dangerous weapon and use of a deadly weapon during the commission of a violent crime. His attorney, F. Arthur Mullins, did not immediately return a call Tuesday.

Investigators said Moore, of Trotwood, entered a room where several people were playing cards and pointed a revolver at them, saying something like, "Don't mess with my family."

Authorities said one of the card game participants lunged at Moore, knocking his .38-caliber revolver. The gun went off at least three times, striking another man in the lower leg, federal investigators said.

Moore then went to an elevator, where he pointed the revolver at another person before fleeing the building, according to court documents.

Moore then drove his pickup truck to his sister's Trotwood home, and she drove him to a hospital in Dayton for medical evaluation, authorities said. Moore was taken into custody at the hospital.

Moore, a former employee at the Veterans Affairs hospital, told police that he regularly participated in a card game with co-workers when he worked there. He said he went to the hospital Monday intending to brandish the handgun to intimidate two former co-workers he believed were involved in relationships with his wife and daughter, both of whom reportedly work at the hospital, authorities said.

He intended to "hold the ex-co-workers at gunpoint while he punched them with his right hand," according to court documents.

Police identified the wounded man as Paul Burnside, a 61-year-old housekeeping aide. He wasn't a target of Moore's attention, U.S. attorney's spokesman Fred Alverson said. He remained hospitalized Tuesday.

The hospital complex has beds for about 450 people and provides veterans with medical, mental health and nursing home care. It doesn't have metal detectors at its entrances, but it does have its own security force.

VA spokesman Ted Froats said the force conducts active shooter training four times a year and showed outstanding response Monday. He said in a statement Tuesday that the hospital will consider additional steps to ensure safety, while making sure that any new measures won't impede the hospital from providing care to veterans as quickly as possible.

Each of the two counts against Moore carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a possible fine of up to $250,000 upon conviction.

Moore was behind bars pending a Friday detention hearing, at which prosecutors plan to ask that he remain in custody pending trial.

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