Tags: Terror in Texas | Veterans | david shulkin | texas shooter | national press club | not a veteran

VA Secretary Shulkin: I Don't Consider Texas Shooter a Veteran

VA Secretary Shulkin: I Don't Consider Texas Shooter a Veteran
Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin speaks at the National Press Club in Washington, Nov. 6, 2017. (Susan Walsh/AP)

By    |   Monday, 06 November 2017 05:37 PM

Veteran Affairs Secretary David Shulkin on Monday said the gunman who killed 26 people and injured at least 16 others in a Texas church Sunday, "does not deserve to have the same title as the men and women who have served this country and have honorably been discharged," according to a report in The Hill.

Devin Kelley, 26, was discharged under dishonorable circumstances from the Air Force in 2014. He was court-martialed in 2012 for assaulting his wife and breaking his infant stepson's skull; a judge sentenced him with a bad-conduct discharge, 12 months confinement, and a reduction in rank.

"I do not consider him a veteran. That would give him much more respect than he deserves," Shulkin said, adding that the shooter was a "criminal" who would not have had access to mental health assistance from the department.

"Those dishonorable discharged have violated the law, have violated our morals and ethics, and I do not believe deserve the types of services and benefits and VA would not be providing those benefits," Shulkin said during remarks at the National Press Club in Washington.

"This is not a person who has ever been treated in the VA system and would not be eligible for those benefits," he said.

Law enforcement officials said a man entered First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs at around 12:30 p.m. E.T., dressed in black tactical-style gear and armed with an assault rifle. Sources identified the shooter to The New York Times and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said it was the deadliest mass shooting in state history.

Kelley reportedly killed himself after fleeing the scene.

President Donald Trump told reporters at a press conference in Tokyo Monday "that mental health is your problem here."

"This was a very, based on preliminary reports, very deranged individual, a lot of problems, over a long period of time."

When asked whether the VA needed to change to help people like Kelley, Shulkin said the department did not owe it to him.

"They have other systems that I believe that they could get the help that they need in, whether they are prison systems or other community-based systems but not the Department of Veteran Affairs."

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Veteran Affairs Secretary David Shulkin on Monday said the gunman who killed 26 people and injured at least 16 others in a Texas church Sunday, "does not deserve to have the same title as the men and women who have served this country and have honorably been discharged,"...
david shulkin, texas shooter, national press club, not a veteran
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2017-37-06
Monday, 06 November 2017 05:37 PM
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