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State homeland security official in critical condition

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The training coordinator for the state Division of Homeland Security is in critical condition at a Charleston hospital with a gunshot wound to the chest.

Cpl. Brian Humphreys of the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department said deputies went to the home of Frank Kennedy on Dons Drive outside Charleston at about 2:30 p.m. Sunday and found Kennedy with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the torso. A handgun was found in the woods nearby.

Kennedy was taken to CAMC General Hospital, where he underwent surgery Sunday night. A hospital spokeswoman said he was in critical condition on Monday.

State Homeland Security Director Jimmy Gianato said authorities don't yet know if the shooting was an accident.

"At this point he's in the hospital," Gianato said. "The last we heard he was in the ICU."

Kennedy told the Gazette on Sept. 11 of this year that he is retired from the New York Police Department as senior harbor master patrol. That day, he was at the state Capitol Complex with Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin during a wreath-laying ceremony at the firefighters memorial. Kennedy was on duty in New York for 36 hours after the World Trade Center was hit by airplanes flown by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001.

This fall, Kennedy also told the Gazette he wanted other emergency workers in West Virginia and elsewhere who responded on Sept. 11 to know that prostate cancer is now a covered condition under the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. The fund was set up for those exposed to toxic ash and debris in the wake of the terror attacks. 

Earlier this year, the director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health added prostate cancer as a covered condition, according to The Associated Press.

Kennedy told the Gazette he had been living with prostate cancer.

Assistant city editor Davin White contributed to this report.

Reach Rusty Marks at or 304-348-1215.



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