LA Sheriff's Department Reels After 4 Suicides in 24 Hours

3 current members, 1 former member of the department were found dead
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 8, 2023 8:38 AM CST
LA Sheriff's Department Reels After Back-to-Back Suicides
LA County Sheriff Robert Luna is seen in this Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023, file photo.   (David Crane/The Orange County Register via AP)

The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department is reeling after "four beloved active and retired members" of the department died in apparent suicides within a 24-hour period that began Monday. Sheriff Robert Luna on Tuesday described "shock waves of emotions" at the news, and encouraged "personnel regardless of rank or position to check on the well-being of other colleagues and friends." The Los Angeles Times reports there was no sign of foul play with the deaths, nor was there any indication they were connected.

KTLA reports the deaths were discovered beginning Monday at 10:30am, then 12:53pm, then 5:40pm, then 7:30am Tuesday. The Times' sources say a 25-year veteran who made frequent appearances on TV news as a top rep for the department was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in his Santa Clarita home Monday morning. Early that afternoon, a retired sergeant was found dead at his Quartz Hill home. A second current employee was found dead that night in Stevenson Ranch, with the last death reported in the city of Pomona; sources tell NBC News both of the latter two worked in jails.

If all the death are confirmed as suicides, that would mean the department has suffered eight deaths by suicide this year. The Times reports studies have found more officers are lost to suicide than are killed in the line of duty each year, and that the risk of suicide is higher within smaller departments. (If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, help is available by calling the nationwide mental health crisis hotline at 988.)

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