Local News

Identity Known of Man Who Shot Self in Front of VA Hospital

Posted April 5, 2007
Updated April 6, 2007

— WRAL has learned the identity of a man who committed suicide in front of Fayetteville's VA hospital earlier this week.

Harold J. Nealey, 59, of Chadbourne, N.C., drove onto the property of the VA Medical Center grounds, got out of his pickup truck and shot himself in the chest on Tuesday.

Hospital staff refuse to say if Nealey was a patient there, but funeral directors confirm he was a veteran.

Nealey, who went by the nickname "Rusty," leaves behind two sons, four brothers and two sisters.


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  • abf1 Apr 12, 2007

    God bless his family and God bless him! There "has" to be a special place in heaven for our soldiers.

  • Censor victim Apr 11, 2007

    I do not know the man. I didn't go to Viet Nam. I have read many books on the subject. If this man faced combat he was a hero. I have thought of him often since reading of his death. Wondering what he did in the war, what his experiences were. I hope his soul has found peace. I hope the good Lord comforts the family he left behind. To those of us who have never served we owe a great debt to those who have, as well as their families, particularly the ones that were in combat.

  • Chuck Apr 10, 2007

    To Sweetpea,
    The RUMORS which I spoke of were Rusty's deeds in a land he had killed others and how he regretted it. Anything after our co-worker time is unknown to me. I was unaware of the facts which you have stated. I say again, I Will Miss My Friend!

  • Its Just What I Do Apr 9, 2007

    let me clarify- "rumors" sweetpea, because that is what YOU referred to them as.

  • Its Just What I Do Apr 9, 2007

    sweetpea- what in the world are you thinking?!!! you apparently must NOT be thinking AT ALL. why you would come on this forum and post all those "rumors" that you have HEARD I cannot imagine. what awful taste you have!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    have you no repsect for the deceasd or his family. keep your heard rumors to yourself and stop being sooo ignorant!

  • sweetpea Apr 9, 2007

    Rusty was an honorable good hearted man filled with love for all he knew man and country. There is a deep message as to why and how he chose his death. To saluate the American Flag shoot himself in the heart with a 45 weapon is a mistery. If indeed he went to VA the day before as RUMORS have it "turned away" to return the next day at 3pm. What was his concern on Monday? Knowing this man, what drove him to the choice he made? RUMORS have it that he had requested a change in his MEDICAL Doctor around Feb.2007 and had written a letter to the Administrator of the Fayetteville,NC VA. This is all I know...RUMORS... My cause is to honor this man that was loved by ALL that knew him.

  • highergame4me Apr 9, 2007

    This is a very sad story for the victim's friends and family. May God be with them all, comfort them and give them peace.

  • Chuck Apr 8, 2007

    Rusty will be missed. I thought that was all I needed to say about my pal. We onced worked at RCES. He was a guy who loved his job. And he could talk your ear off about any subject he knew about. If he was not know the subject matter, he would take the time to learn about it. Then he would talk your ear off. Heck, he even tought me about the "Dad Discount". One of his sons needed a car. Rusty had a car he was going to sell to his son. First, he knocked 50% off the car's value and sold it to his son as the "Dad Discount". Later, I asked him if he ever got payment for the car. "No, and I am not really worred about it. When he can pay, I'll get the money." That was Rusty. People were his prime concern. Not money, not power. Just people who he knew. As to why Rusty shot himself, I'll never know. I heard the rumors. I knew anout the VA hospital he visited. I knew about Vietnam. I never thought it would end this way. I say again "Rusty will be missed."

  • tnt4kps Apr 7, 2007

    As the sister of a fallen Marine...anything like this saddens me. I'm so sorry that Rusty felt so low and so alone that he took his life. I'm sad for his family too. I pray that Rusty is with the Lord and at peace and no longer suffering. This story really breaks my heart.

  • Chuck Apr 7, 2007

    Rusty will be missed.