News4 has learned the name of the man who walked into the Nashville V-A hospital Friday and killed himself, as terrified people looked on. Forty-one year old Derrick Macklin turned a high powered rifle on himself in the lobby.

A Murfreesboro father was all too familiar with what was going through the mind of that veteran, just before he took his life. It also affected another veteran who witnessed the aftermath. 

Michael Rowen, a Nashville attorney, was at the V-A hospital for a dental checkup on Friday, he didn't witness what happened, but saw V-A employees spring into action, seconds after the shooting. 

"They have an emergency response team in place, they responded immediately, confined the area, and made sure no one was at risk," said Rowan.

Rowan says, he is concerned too many times, warning signs build up, and are often ignored, leading to suicide.

"There were signs of these issues, for whatever reason, it doesn't seem that these signs are taken seriously," said Rowan.

This is a tough time of year for David Toombs, his son took his life at the V-A hospital in Murfreesboro, days before Thanksgiving, two-years ago.

"As far as my son, he told me the main trigger for him, was that hopeless, helpless feeling, that would draw you down so far," said Toombs.

John Toombs was just thirty-two, days before he took his life he posted a video on Facebook, he said ' I came for help, and they just threw me out like a stray dog in the rain'

Looking back at the tragedy, Toombs says there are two common denominators, before a veteran takes their own life.

"The two things I hear the most, are over-medicated, and a system that is complicated for them, they sometimes feel like giving up because appointments are cancelled," said Toombs

A V-A study showed that twenty-two veterans die by suicide every day, that's one every sixty-five seconds.

If you or someone you know needs help, you can call the veterans crisis line at 1-800-273-8255.

Copyright 2018 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Alan Frio is the anchor of News4's evening newscasts on Saturdays and Sundays.

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