An Army veteran buried with honors last year will remain at a cemetery for heroes despite carrying out an Indianapolis shooting spree that killed one woman and wounded three others.
On May 30, 2012, investigators said Michael Anderson opened fire at Villa Paree Apartments at 61st Street and Allisonville Road. Alicia Koehl, who worked in the leasing office, was killed and three others were shot before Anderson killed himself.
The next month, Anderson—who served in the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan—was buried with full honors at a national cemetery in Michigan. Koehl’s family argued that Anderson shouldn’t have received full honors because of the shooting spree.
They petitioned the Department of Veterans Affairs to have Anderson moved to another cemetery. While the department conceded that Anderson’s burial violates federal law, officials said they didn’t have the authority to move him somewhere else.
Federal law prohibits the VA from providing burial services in a national cemetery for people who have committed capital crimes. Anderson’s burial was allowed because officials were unaware of the shooting spree and didn’t find out until after his services were held.
Sen. Dan Coats, who’s been working with the Koehl family, plans to pursue legislation that would give the VA the authority to intervene in similar cases.