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Following shooting, side gates at Riviera Beach VA to be closed overnight

Police investigate the scene of a shooting incident at the VA Medical Center Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019 in Riviera Beach, Fla. A double-amputee Army veteran shot and wounded a doctor just before a mental health evaluation at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospital, authorities said.

GREG LOVETT/PALM BEACH POST

By ELIOT KLEINBERG | The Palm Beach Post | Published: March 5, 2019

RIVIERA BEAC, Fla. (Tribune News Service) — Days after a man shot two people in the emergency room of the VA Medical Center in Riviera Beach, the Veterans Administration has added security measures to the hospital's perimeter, it said in an update.

Under the new rules, which went into effect Monday, at least three side entrances, at Military Trail and Blue Heron Boulevard, will be closed from 5:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. weekdays and around the clock on weekends. All traffic will have to use the main gate on Blue Heron.

The agency said that "until such time as we can install a guard house," it would place a marked vehicle at the main entrance and an officer will stop vehicles, and ask visitors to state the nature of their business and for their identification.

The statement doesn't specifically say it's a response to the Feb. 27 incident in which Larry Ray Bon, a veteran who was receiving medical care, opened fire in the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center's emergency room. The shots struck and wounding a doctor and grazing a second member of the hospital's medical staff before the injured doctor helped to subdue him. Bon faces federal charges in the incident.

The VA refused after the shooting to detail its security measures except to say they were "consistent with health-care industry standards." But four members of Congress who share a service office at the VA center said in a joint statement that they "have been assured that the VA is taking the necessary steps to enhance security at the Medical Center."

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