Friday, July 20, 2007

Mario Gonzales Suicide

Found out about this from a MySpace friend whose husband knew Gonzales.

A State Police trooper who shot and killed himself while on duty Wednesday night didn’t indicate to fellow officers that he was suicidal, colleagues said....

Around 9 p.m. Wednesday, Cpl. Marlo Gonzales shot himself with his service weapon while inside his cruiser, Lemmon said. He was parked outside his father-in-law’s house in Hurricane near Sycamore Road, close to his own home....

Before Gonzales reported to work, he had maintenance work done on his car in South Charleston. “He was jovial, joking around with the mechanics,” [State Police Superintendent Dave] Lemmon said....

Gonzales joined the State Police in 1994 and served at the Winfield detachment in Putnam County and the Clay detachment in Clay County. For the past month, he had been on temporary assignment at the South Charleston detachment. The station needed extra troopers because some of the regular officers are on military leave, Lemmon said.

Gonzales was from Calhoun County and had served in the military, Capt. D.K. Barnett said....

It isn’t unusual for men in law enforcement to hide their personal problems, Lemmon said. “A police officer, he’s kind of a strange cat,” he said. “It’s not uncommon for them to have some problems that they try to keep in themselves.”

Often, however, an officer will confide in co-workers, rather than talking to his wife or other family members, Lemmon said. Gonzalez, who was married and had three children, didn’t do that, he said.

NJLawman previously noted:

What happens when we face things that are not within our control? Many in our ranks turn to alcohol or other unhealthy avenues of escape. Some go a far as suicide. In 2000, 150 officers died in the line of duty. 418 committed suicide. That is an outrageously, ridiculous statistic that should be screaming out to all of us. We’re not addressing this nearly enough. That includes you, me and every single one of us on this job. The actual number of police suicides is believed to be much higher too. The biggest factors in the skewed statistics are believed to be poor accounting and the fact that the people who respond to suicides are us, and we try to steer the cause of death away from suicide to protect our brother or sister officer’s family.


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