ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WSPA) – U.S. Department of Veterans Afairs officials said a veteran died by suicide while in the parking lot of a Western North Carolina VA medical center on Sunday.

According to the news release, the veteran died by suicide in the visitor parking lot of Charles George VA Medical Center just before 8:50 a.m.

The Asheville Police Department is investigating the incident.

“We are saddened by this loss and extend our deepest condolences to the Veteran’s family, friends and caregivers,” officials said in the release. “Suicide prevention is the VA’s number one clinical priority. Charles George VA Medical Center and its community outpatient clinics at Hickory, Rutherford County, and Franklin have many services for Veterans who are struggling with mental health concerns, such as depression, post-traumatic stress, anxiety, military sexual trauma, and substance use disorders.”

Veterans, family members and caregivers can call Dr. Laura Tugman, assistant chief of Mental Health, at 828-298-7911, ext. 2009, for more information on services and programs.

The Veterans Crisis Hotlines is also available 24/7 by calling 1-800-273-8255, texting 838255 or by going online at to speak with a qualified responder.