HELENA — Lewis and Clark County Sheriff-Coroner Leo Dutton says one person is dead after an early morning incident at the Montana VA at Fort Harrison.
“Currently, Fort Harrison VA Medical Center is safe and secure. The facility is open, and Veterans are being directed to their appointments by staff,” said the VA in a press release.
The Montana VA says the Thursday morning incident occurred around 7:30 a.m. and involved one individual. Dutton later confirmed the individual died by suicide. Lewis & Clark County Sheriff’s Office and VA Police are conducting a joint investigation.
MTN does not typically report on individual suicides, but did so in this instance due to nature of the event, its location and the Montana VA’s request to let the community know the facility is safe and secure.
The VA encourages any veteran, family member or friend concerned about a veteran’s mental health to contact the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and press 1 or text 838255. People can also call 988. Trained professionals are also available at www.veteranscrisisline.net
“Montana VA Health Care System takes the safety of its Veterans and staff seriously, and appreciate the quick response and support from the local law enforcement as well as the VA Police,” wore the VA.
Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional information from the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff's Office, and edited to follow the reporting guidelines from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.