Veteran commits suicide in front of hundreds at VA clinic

Courtesy: CNN VAN
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AUSTIN, Texas (CNN) - Austin's Veteran Affairs Clinic shut down Tuesday as detectives investigated a suicide in the first-floor waiting room.

Witnesses reported hundreds of people were inside the room when a man shot and killed himself shortly after noon.

Ken Walker, who's been going to the VA Clinic on Metropolis for more than two years, said he continued with his group therapy class for nearly an hour after the shooting before he learned what happened.

"All of a sudden, over the intercom, they have this statement about everyone must clear the building including staff, so it was a little surprising," Walker said.

Despite signs prohibiting weapons, the VA does not have metal detectors in the building.

Instead, VA police do random bag searches.

The most recent government statistics from 2016 show 530 Texas veterans committed suicide, tied with Florida for the most from any state.