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Indiana Man Charged With Firing Shots At VA Hospital Has 2 Previous Gun Convictions, Prosecutors Say

Bernard Harvey Jr. was charged with illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, according to the U.S. State's Attorney's office. If convicted, he could face 10 years in prison.

Bernard Harvey Jr. was charged with illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon Tuesday.
Mauricio Peña/ Block Club Chicago

MEDICAL DISTRICT — A 40-year-old Indianapolis man has been charged after he fired his rifle inside the Jesse Brown Veterans Affairs Medical Center Monday in the Near West Side.

Bernard Harvey Jr. was charged with illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon Tuesday, according to the U.S. State’s Attorney’s office.

No one was injured during Monday’s shooting, officials said.

On Monday afternoon, Harvey walked up to the hospital, 820 S. Damen Ave. and fired shots inside and outside the building, officials said.

Harvey entered the Taylor Street entrance of the medical center with a 9mm rifle. He was walking through the clinic area “holding the butt of a rifle in the air with the muzzle of the rifle pointed to the ground” when VA officers ordered him to drop to the ground, according to the complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney’s office.

He complied and was arrested, officials said.

Police recovered six 9mm casings outside the hospital and another casing inside. Investigators also found bullet holes in the ceiling and entrance door.

“We avoided tragedy in the city of Chicago today,” FBI special agent Jeffrey Sallet told reporters outside the hospital Monday night.

“Within 30 seconds of that firing, the VA police responded and mitigated the threat,” Sallet said.

Harvey was set to appear before a judge Tuesday, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office statement.

If convicted, Harvey could face 10 years in prison.

According to a statement by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Harvey was previously convicted of multiple felonies in Cook County and was prohibited from possessing a firearm.

In 2005, Harvey was convicted for felony possession of a firearm and was sentenced to four years in prison. He was also sentenced to six years after manufacturing and delivering drugs in 2000. In 1998, he was convicted of unlawfully possessing a firearm, according to the complaint. 

The rifle used by Harvey at Jesse Brown VA Medical Center was reported stolen last month, according to the statement.

The complaint was filed by U.S. State’s Attorney John R. Lausch Jr., FBI Special Agent in-charge Jeffrey Salley and Chicago Superintendent Eddie Johnson.