- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 25, 2016

A 76-year-old veteran committed suicide Sunday in the parking lot of New York Veterans Affairs hospital, police said.

Peter A. Kaisen, of Islip, was pronounced dead after he shot himself outside the nursing home at Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center on Long Island, Suffolk County police told The New York Times.

The reason for Mr. Kaisen’s suicide was not immediately known, but two people connected to the hospital told The Times he was angry after he was allegedly denied care in the emergency room for issues related to his mental health.

“He went to the ER and was denied service,” a hospital worker told The Times. “And then he went to his car and shot himself.”

The staff member said there is always a psychologist on call, and the mental health building is open seven days a week, but no one at the ER gave Mr. Kaisen that information.

“Someone dropped the ball,” the worker said. “They should not have turned him away.”

SEE ALSO: Veteran dies after setting himself on fire outside New Jersey VA clinic

A spokesman for the hospital, however, said there “was no indication that he presented to the ER prior to the incident,” The Times reported.

Spokesman Christopher Goodman said “the employees here at Northport feel this loss deeply and extend their thoughts and prayers to all those impacted by this tragedy.”

The Northport hospital has been under scrutiny for mismanagement since The Times reported in May that it had closed all five of its operating rooms for months due to dust contamination in its decaying air ducts.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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