Bond Denied for VA Hospital Gunman

"I am not going to shoot," Washington told an emergency room admissions clerk. “I just want some help.”

By Andrew Greiner
|  Thursday, Sep 24, 2009  |  Updated 5:38 PM CDT
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Cook County Sheriff

Kermit Washington allegedly killed his parents.

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Bond was denied Thursday for the gunman who barricaded himself inside the Jesse Brown VA hospital a day earlier.

Authorities said Kermit Washington, 53, gunned down his father, Joe Washington, 79, and mother, Johnnie Washington, 77, in their South Kildare Avenue home late Tuesday, hours before he walked into the West Side hospital and started firing.

Sources said Kermit Washington lived in the home with his parents, and sometimes stayed with his girlfriend in the north suburbs. He was not at the home when the couple was found dead, the source said.

Hours after Kermit Washington allegedly killed his parents he walked into the emergency room of the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, 820 S. Damen Ave., and fired a shot into the ceiling before pointing the gun at his head.

“I am not going to shoot,” the man told Bobby Freeman, an emergency room admissions clerk. “I just want some help.”

Freeman said the man allegedly told a medical technician he had just killed his parents.

The gunshot triggered a standoff between Washington and police, who negotiated with him through the door of the exam room where he barricaded himself, said Deputy Chief Wayne Gulliford.

About 9 a.m. Wednesday, Washington peacefully surrendered to police.

“My brother is not a monster,” said Mansa Kenyatta, 55, the older brother of Kermit Washington. “He was a 50-year-old mama’s boy. We're just trying to figure it out.”

On Tuesday afternoon, Kenyatta’s sister Yvonne Howard made multiple calls to her parent’s home, part of a daily routine to check on their well-being, he said. No one answered.

Concerned that their mother had fallen out of the wheelchair she used because of severe arthritis, Howard went to the family home at about 6 p.m. Tuesday and found their parents’ bodies. Family members said there were weapons -- a handgun and shotgun -- missing from the home, police said.

Kenyatta said  his younger brother, a former Marine, battled decades-long addiction to "mint leaf," or PCP-laced marijuana. He was sober the past six years, Kenyatta said.

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