NewsPalm Beach CountyRegion C Palm Beach County

Actions

West Palm Beach VA shooter reaches tentative plea deal

Posted at 8:11 PM, Mar 13, 2020

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The man accused of shooting two emergency room workers at the West Palm Beach Veterans Administration Hospital last year reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors.

Larry Ray Bon’s guilty plea to assaulting federal workers, includes a sentence of 12.5 to 25 years behind bars.

In February, 2019 court records show Larry Ray Bon smuggled a handgun into the VA Medical Center and fired multiple times.

One grazed VA employee Alfred Gaines backside, another hit Dr. Bruce Goldfeder.

“We were all victims that day, and everyone is now working through this,” said Goldfeder. “It’s had a profound impact on our staff.”

Investigators say last year the homeless veteran, who is also a double amputee, was at the VA for a meeting with his doctor.

The doctor sent Bon to the emergency room for a psychiatric evaluation.

Court records show Dr. Goldfeder and another emergency room worker took the gun away and held him until he could be arrested.

Since the shooting, the West Palm Beach VA added security guards to be in the ER 24 hours. The VA also added active-shooter training for several staffers.

“We have to have the highest standard for our veterans,” Goldfeder said outside the federal courthouse. “And we need to secure all the employees that work there.”

Both Alfred Gaines, who now works part time at the VA, and Goldfeder who cannot go back until he is cleared by the U.S. Department of Labor, are relieved a plea deal will likely bring this case to a close.

“I appreciate him not having killed anyone, because my daughter and my grandchildren are grateful for that," said Alfred Gaines, who is also a Vietnam Era Marine Veteran.

“The end is in sight,” added Goldfeder. “Every day, I’m certainly hoping and I’m trying to get back. I’m just waiting to be cleared. It’s something i look forward to tremendously.”

The judge in the case still needs to sign off on the plea deal before he can set a date for sentencing Larry Ray Bon.