VA moves to fire employee arrested for pulling gun on pedestrian

The Department of Veterans Affairs said Thursday it is working to fire an employee in Tennessee who was arrested over the weekend for allegedly pulling a gun on a pedestrian and her granddaughter in an apparent road rage incident.

The VA said in a news release on Thursday it is “taking immediate steps to propose the termination” of the employee, whom it did not name.

But Fox News has learned the employee is Linda Turner, an accounting technician at the Memphis VA Medical Center.

Turner has been charged in Shelby County with both aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and criminal impersonation of a police officer.

“This behavior is not in line with the norms and values of the VA, and as a result the employee has been suspended from all duties,” Curt Cashour, the department’s press secretary, said in a statement. “VA has initiated the process for removal from employment.”

According to a police report obtained by Fox News, Turner was driving in Memphis on Saturday as a woman and her 2-year-old granddaughter were crossing the street on foot.

Police said Turner honked the car horn and gestured at the woman before stopping her vehicle and rolling down the window.

After the two women exchanged words, Turner pulled out a handgun and falsely told the woman: “I am the police.” The report said a witness on the scene corroborated the details.

Police said they found a loaded six-shot Taurus revolver on the front passenger seat of Turner’s car.

Fox News attempted to, but could not, reach Turner for comment Thursday.

According to the report, Turner told police the woman and her granddaughter were jaywalking and the woman cursed at her. She acknowledged stopping her car and showing her handgun, but Turner said she never pointed it at anyone.

The move comes as the department, empowered by new laws, has more flexibility to discipline and fire employees they’ve determined to have violated the public’s trust.

“Secretary Shulkin has made clear that VA will hold employees accountable when they fail to live up to the high standards taxpayers expect from us. And that’s exactly what we’re doing in this case,” Cashour said Thursday.

President Trump signed the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act into law in June and the department has already used it to oust employees and officials.


The department announced Wednesday they fired Brian Hawkins, the former director of VA Medical Center, under the new law.

The department’s inspector general found that Hawkins violated the VA's policies by sending sensitive VA information from his work email to unsecured private email accounts.

Hawkins was initially ousted in July. But the VA was forced to rehire him in August after the federal Merit Systems Protection Board ordered a stay of the firing. Hawkins has argued he was wrongly terminated.

Despite the appeal, the VA said Wednesday that Hawkins was notified in late August that he was “being proposed for removal.”