Veteran from Jay commits suicide in front of VA hospital on Veteran's Day

Friday, November 12th 2004, 5:44 am
By: News On 6

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) _ An Oklahoma veteran took a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun and shot himself in the head in front of the Veteran's Affairs Medical Center on Thursday.

The event did not appear to be related to Veteran's Day said hospital spokeswoman Doris Cassidy. She would not release the veteran's name, but described him as in his early 70s and from Jay, Okla.

The man walked into the hospital with a female companion and told the intake officer he had a package to give to his doctor, Cassidy said.

``He was very upbeat and joked with the officer and gave no indication anything was wrong,'' she said.

However he then said he had to go outside and do something, leaving the woman he was with in hospital. That's when he retrieved the shotgun from his car and shot himself in the head under a tree in a park area.

A blood-splattered package lay near the body, containing documents that Cassidy called the man's final directions. There was a book entitled ``Final Exit,'' which appeared to be about euthanasia.

The man's companion apparently had no idea of his plan.