Details Released in Essex Army Vet Death: Is PTSD to Blame?

Published 05/07 2014 06:45PM

Updated 05/08 2014 02:36AM

BURLINGTON - No charges will be filed in the killing of Army veteran and former Vermont National Guardsman Kryn Miner. Miner was shot and killed by his teenage child after he threatened to shoot and kill members of his family, according to Chittenden County State’s Attorney TJ Donovan.

Donovan held a press conference with Essex Police and the Miner family attorney Wednesday to announce that the shooting was legally justified. The state’s attorney outlined a severe case of abuse and threats made by the veteran.

“I think we say the worst in Kryn Miner in those 45 minutes,” Donovan said.

Investigators determined the situation began escalating when the Miner’s came home from a wedding where Kryn had been drinking.

Investigators say Miner assaulted his wife in their bedroom and pointed a gun at her. They say their teenage child entered the room and was also assaulted. Paperwork shows miner continued to make threats while holding a gun saying “I’m going to kill all of you.”

Eventually he tossed his gun to his teenager to "play the gun game.” Miner reached for another gun and that's when police say the teenager fired. Miner fell and then the teen shot another five times, hitting Miner five times.

“The minor teenager continued to shoot Mr. Miner because the teenager quote ‘thought he was going to get up,’” Donovan said.

Donovan says they plan on heavily redacting the affidavit and search warrant to keep the teen's identity withheld from the public.

“The young person that had to pull the trigger is going to have to deal with this for the rest of their lives,” Donovan said.

Donovan says investigators can't identify one reason Miner was acting irrationally but says it was likely a combination of alcohol and injuries miner picked up while serving in combat.

“Kryn had been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and as well as sustaining a traumatic brain injury,” a family attorney read in a statement.

“Although Kryn had been under the care of professionals for these injuries the fight did not end when he left the war, in a way it was just beginning.”

“Mr. Miner's post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic injury played a role here,” Donovan said.

“Is that disease unfairly linked to many of these incidents?” reporter David Hodges asked.

“I think it very much is and I think it is a huge disservice to veterans and non-veterans with PTSD,” Dr. Laura Gibson said.

Dr. Gibson is director of behavioral health at the Burlington Veteran Affairs clinic. She says research done by the National Center for PTSD shows PTSD and traumatic brain injuries don't make people more likely to act out violently.

“When there's a horrific tragedy people want to have some explanation for why it happens and unfortunately violence is very very complex with lots of different factors but PTSD is not one of them,” Gibson said.

Gibson says substance abuse is a much more common cause for violent behavior.

If you are looking for help with PTSD consider contacting the following sources.

Burlington Lakeside VA Clinic Behavioral Health Services: 802-657-7090

Toll Free Veterans 24 Hour Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255

Extensive Information on PTSD Link

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