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VA worker injured in Wash. office shooting

Feb. 5, 2014 - 08:16AM   |  
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VANCOUVER, WASH. — Sheriff’s officials in southwest Washington were saying little as they try to determine why a Veterans Affairs worker was gunned down and wounded inside a public health building in the second workplace shooting in Vancouver in as many days.

A 46-year-old woman was taken into custody after the shooting of a 45-year-old man Tuesday afternoon, a sheriff’s spokesman said. She also was injured.

Detectives are not looking for any other suspects, Sgt. Fred Neiman said Tuesday night.

Neiman sidestepped questions about motive or any possible relationship between the man and woman.

“I am not aware of the motivation behind the shooting,” the spokesman said, adding his department’s investigation was just beginning.

Tuesday’s shooting happened just before 4 p.m. at the Center for Community Health on the Department of Veterans Affairs campus, Neiman said.

The wounded man and the woman were taken to a hospital, Neiman said. He refused to discuss the extent or nature of her injuries. Neither one was identified.

Vancouver police spokeswoman Kim Kapp told KATU-TV that the woman was injured while security detained her.

A spokesman for the VA Medical Center in Portland, Ore., said the man is a VA employee of the regional Veterans Integrated Service Network, a network of medical centers, vet centers and outpatient clinics. Spokesman Daniel Herrigstad described the man’s injuries as “non-life-threatening.”

Neiman called the man’s injuries “significant.”

He declined to say how many shots were fired or what type of weapon was used.

“We heard about four shots and then a loud noise,” Denise Martino, who works in the building, told KGW-TV.

“On the first shot, I thought something fell down,” added employee Ryan Treglown. “It was pretty clear it was a gun by the time of the third or fourth one.”

Vancouver police, state troopers, Veterans Affairs police and sheriff’s officers all responded and helped clear people from the building, most of which was locked down as a crime scene Tuesday night, Neiman said.

The Center for Community Health houses a number of organizations.

Marc Lindsay, who works for Southwest Washington Behavioral Health, was heading from the second floor to the first when police arrived. He was on his way to the parking lot when he ran into officers.

“Cops flooded in,” he told The Columbian newspaper. “They blocked all the entrances.”

Herrigstad said VA clinics and buildings on the Vancouver campus would be open Wednesday, although the Veterans Integrated Service Network offices, where the shooting occurred, will remain closed.

In another workplace shooting that happened Monday, a paint company driver fatally shot a company manager and then killed himself at a Vancouver business park.

Police found the manager, Ryan E. Momeny, 45, lying dead in front of the Benjamin Moore Paint distribution center, authorities said. Robert R. Brown, 64, a company driver, was found inside a vehicle in the parking lot, dead from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Vancouver police said.

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