NewsPalm Beach CountyRegion C Palm Beach CountyRiviera Beach


Security changes at VA Medical Center

West Palm VA limits access after threat
Posted at 4:15 PM, Mar 04, 2019

Security changes have been made at the VA Medical Center in Riviera Beach following last week's shooting.

VA Police implemented the new security changes Monday night. After normal business hours, vehicles will only be able to enter at Blue Heron Boulevard and Victory Lane. Every other entrance will be closed at 5:30 p.m. until 5 a.m., and will remain closed over the weekends.

“I think it’s a good implementation to calm the fears of the patients and to soothe things out with the employees and to help the employees with their fear,” said Alisha Darcy, a patient at the VA and a former employee.

An officer has also been placed at the entrance, and all employees, veterans and visitors must show a valid ID.

“I think it’s a good start in helping patients getting to know they’re going to need their ID, and they’re going to need to follow different protocol and rules now,” Darcy said.

The changes come less than a week after shots were fired inside the emergency room.

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

Dr. Bruce Goldfeder sustained a gunshot wound while fighting to disarm the shooter. Another staff member was also grazed by a bullet.

“Ultimately, it’s the safety of the doctors, the nurses, the clerks and everybody else working there too,” Darcy said.

The VA also plans to install a guard house at the entrance at Blue Heron Boulevard and Victory Lane.