House Panel Wants Shooter’s Medical RecordJuly 28, 2016 |
by John Hanna, Associated Press
ST. MARYS, Kan. —The chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Veterans Affairs has requested all VA medical records for the former Marine who killed three law-enforcement officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Florida Rep. Jeff Miller sent a letter dated July 21 to the Department of Veterans Affairs requesting records for Gavin Long, an Iraq war veteran. The Republican also asked for a briefing about the VA services Long received, saying the committee would “not accept any restriction placed on the information.”
VA spokeswoman Walinda West confirmed that the department received Miller’s letter, saying only that the VA would “respond directly to the chairman’s office.”
Long’s mother, Corine Woodley, told PBS’ Tavis Smiley that her son had post-traumatic stress disorder and unsuccessfully sought the VA’s help. Woodley said her son received a letter from the VA denying his request for PTSD treatment in 2013, on grounds that it wasn’t related to his military service. She has declined to talk to The Associated Press.
Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp, a member of the House committee, said Miller was pushing for the information but that VA officials often wait months to answer or “give you a non-answer.”
“It seems there might be something there, but we don’t yet know, and the VA is so far stonewalling,” Huelskamp said after a town hall meeting Monday in St. Marys, Kansas.
Authorities say Long killed Baton Rouge police officers Montrell Jackson and Matthew Gerald, and East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputy Brad Garafola during a shootout July 17. The attack followed protests sparked by the death of Alton Sterling, who was black, by white police officers. Investigators said they don’t know if Long was responding to Sterling’s death, but that Long deliberately targeted officers.