Veteran who killed himself outside of VA center in Decatur identified

Victim was 68-year-old Alpharetta man who shot himself

The veteran who killed himself outside the main entrance to the Atlanta VA Medical Center in Decatur Saturday has been identified as Olen Hancock, 68, of Alpharetta, according to the DeKalb County Medical Examiner’s Office.

“After Mr. Hancock shot himself, the staff at the VA immediately assisted him and called 911 for an ambulance,” Mark Anglin, the chief investigator for the DeKalb Medical Examiner’s Office told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He said Hancock was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital and pronounced dead at the emergency department.

Another Georgia veteran died by suicide in a parking lot at the Carl Vinson VA Medical Center in Dublin Friday. Veterans Affairs Department officials have declined to identify the victim, citing privacy reasons.

More than 6,000 veterans killed themselves each year between 2008 and 2016, VA figures show. In 2016, 202 veterans died by suicide in Georgia. And between 2015 and 2016, the suicide rate per 100,000 people for veterans ages 18 to 34 increased from 40.4 to 45 nationwide, despite the VA’s efforts to tackle the problem.

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