Four LA County Sheriff’s Department officials die by suicide in 24 hours

The deaths are unrelated to one another, law enforcement officials said

Martha McHardy
Wednesday 08 November 2023 19:25 GMT
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Suicides reported in LA County Sheriff’s Department

Four current or former Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department employees took their own lives over a span of 24 hours, according to officials.

The deaths are unrelated to one another, law enforcement officials said, but are all being treated as suicides, NBC reported.

A captain, a retired deputy and a custody assistant were all found dead on Monday within hours of each other.

Meanwhile, early on Tuesday, sheriff’s detectives were notified that a deputy who worked in a jail was found unresponsive at home. He was later pronounced dead at a hospital in Pomona, east of Los Angeles, according to NBC.

While the causes of death for the four Los Angeles County sheriff’s employees have been established, they are all being investigated as suicides by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The names of the four employees have not been officially made public by the department.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna speaks during a press to announce an arrest in the ambush killing of sheriff's deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer Monday, Sept. 18, 2023, in Palmdale, California

“The Sheriff’s Department is beyond saddened to learn of the deaths involving four LASD employees, one retired and three current members of the department,” it said in a statement.

Sheriff Robert Luna said his department was “stunned” to learn of the deaths. He added that they had sent “shockwaves” throughout the department.

“We are stunned to learn of these deaths, and it has sent shockwaves of emotions throughout the department as we try and cope with the loss of not just one, but four beloved active and retired members of our department family,” he said.

“During trying times like these it’s important for personnel regardless of rank or position to check on the well-being of other colleagues and friends,” he added.

Sheriff Luna said the Department’s Psychological Services Bureau and the Injury and Health Support Unit were working to provide counselling and other resources to the families of the officers.

Four other employees have died by suicide this year alone in the LASD, an agency spokesperson said.

“I have the deepest concern for our employees’ well-being, and we are urgently exploring avenues to reduce work stress factors to support our employees’ work and personal lives,” Sheriff Luna said in his statement.

If you are experiencing feelings of distress and isolation, or are struggling to cope, The Samaritans offers support; you can speak to someone for free over the phone, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.

If you are based in the USA, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call National Suicide Prevention Helpline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Helpline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you are in another country, you can go to www.befrienders.org to find a helpline near you.

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