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Military vet kills himself with an assault rifle on the steps of a VA medical center in Dayton, Oh

Published: April 16, 2010
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Source: Dayton Daily News

DAYTON — A 27-year-old Army veteran shot and killed himself at the front steps of the Dayton Veterans Administration Medical Center just hours after he had been in the center’s emergency room.

Jesse C. Huff, address unknown, was wearing full military fatigues and was armed with a military-style rifle, which he used to shoot himself twice in the head about 5:45 a.m. Friday, April 16, according to police and the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

The coroner’s office had not determined Huff’s address as of 3:30 p.m. Friday, However, he has at least one relative who lives in the Dayton-area, according to Ken Betz, executive director for the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

Betz said Huff apparently pulled the trigger of his weapon twice.

Huff had been a patient at the center and was seen in the center’s emergency room prior to his body being found outside, according Donna Simmons, VA spokeswoman.

“He was a veteran that we (had treated),” Simmons said.

Members of the Dayton Bomb Squad detonated a satchel found next to Huff’s body. The squad used a remote-controlled robot to load the satchel into the bucket of a bulldozer, then detonated the bag. Officials later said the satchel did not contain any explosives.

Police and center officials reopened all entrances to the center, located at 4100 W. Third St., by early afternoon.

Police searched Huff’s van in the VA center parking lot after the shooting. The panel van, which has military-style decals on the rear doors, was parked about three rows from the entrance.

Dayton fire paramedics were called to the center after receiving a report of a shooting in front of a Civil War statue in front of the VA.

No one else was injured during the shooting, according to Simmons.

“This is an unfortunate incident,” Simmons said.

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2414 or kwynn@DaytonDailyNews.com.

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