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VA Medical Center doctor hailed as 'hero' for stopping shooter

Posted at 12:01 AM, Mar 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-01 05:37:10-05

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — A Veterans Affairs Medical Center doctor is home recovering after being shot inside the Riviera Beach facility by a patient Wednesday.

Now, Dr. Bruce Goldfeder is being hailed a hero by staff, patients and the FBI for taking a bullet while fighting to disarm the shooter.

According to the FBI, 59-year-old double-amputee Larry Ray Bon pulled out a small handgun and opened fire inside the emergency area, striking at least two people.

One person was grazed by the bullet, and Dr. Goldfeder was shot in the neck while trying to subdue the shooter.

“A little boo-boo on the ear and an entrance and exit wound on the skull, but I’m fine. If it was another inch lower, maybe it’d be a different day,” Goldfeder said.

Goldfeder described the moment he realized there was an active shooter inside the medical center. He says he saw Bon in his wheelchair waving a gun around.

“I saw that it was being pointed and waved in different directions and I heard gunshots,” Goldfeder said.

His instinct was to try to protect people nearby.

“Either he gets an opportunity to shoot everyone or I get the opportunity to tackle, I chose the latter,” Goldfeder said. “He was waving a gun and I was about ten feet away and I knew he was right near patients rooms…So I kind of did like a football tackle and tackled him and the gun at the same time and I got shot when it hit the floor.”

He described continuing to fight to get the gun away from Bon, then getting the gun over to another colleague.

“I have to make sure that he doesn’t get hurt, and no staff members or patients get hurt.”

Eventually, police secured the scene, took Bon into custody and Goldfeder was treated.

Goldfeder said he does not consider himself a hero.

He’s also not angry at his shooter. In fact, he’s sympathetic.

“I think the heroes are the veterans. I think we need to advocate more for their well-being.”

Goldfeder said he would support increased VA security.

Goldfeder also said he was not supposed to be on shift, but was covering for another doctor during the shooting.

Bon is being held in jail without bond.