WICHITA, Kansas – After a veteran, unable to get mental health services he desperately needed, was killed after charging at police, allegedly with a weapon in hand, more questions arise about what could have been done to prevent the tragedy. Specifically, why didn’t he get the help he needed? Family members say Icarus Randolph had reached out to the Wichita VA hospital for help.
“In listening to some of the comments that the mother made to the officer, he was trying to get into the VA, however he was not accepted into the VA,” said Wichita police chief Norman Williams, “based on the comments she shared with the officer initially that he made application but had not been accepted.”
However, officials with the clinic say that if he had applied and was eligible, he would have been seen with no problems.
“Behavioral health resources are extensive,” said Aaron Harris, chief of behavioral health services at the facility. “Anybody, given especially when talking about mental health issues that are delicate and sensitive issues, they would receive and have the ability to receive resources right away if they come here.”
However, the VA could not confirm to KSN if Randolph had applied for help or received services. KSN has also spoken to other veterans who tell us, they had a hard time getting mental health services in a timely manner at the Dole Center.
“They told me if I was behind on my bills, they could fast track my case,” said Rex Pennick, “I told them I’m not going to get behind on my bills so you guys can work quicker.”
The VA isn’t the only place in question, Wichita police admit they had been called out to his home after he started displaying what was characterized as “bizarre behavior” – but when asked if they had followed up, they said they had not.
KSN has requests into the VA to determine what happened to Randolph’s application, if he was waitlisted, denied, or simply turned away for service.