I'm back at the academy this week for some follow-up training. Topics include community policing, code enforcement and basic Spanish for officers.
On Sunday I was called to a crime scene right next to my precinct. I arrived to a large perimeter of yellow crime scene tape, detectives, and the 'MAC' van (our mobile-command RV). There was a body of a white male in his mid thirties lying face up in the parking lot. He was wearing a button-up short sleeve shirt, cargo pants, and hiking boots. His legs were crossed at the ankles, fists resting on top of his hips. A pair of glasses and a driver's license were carefully placed on the ground a few feet away. From a distance, it looked like a tired hiker taking a nap. Upon closer look, I saw the handle of a large kitchen knife protruding straight up from his chest.
What seemed like a brutal murder soon revealed itself to be a bold suicide. Two of my squadmates were sent to the parent's house of this victim. They were met by an older mother and father at the door and shown a hand written note stating "You'll find me at 24th steet and Lincoln Dr." The parents did not yet know the disposition of their son but had a feeling something bad had happened. The 38-year old son still lived at home and was described as socially challenged. He was employed by his father for the past 20 years but his father was getting older and had decided to retire. The parents began encouraging their son to find a new job but the prospect of starting a new career with an unknown company was too much for him to handle.
I felt sorry for the guy and couldn't believe he chose such a painful and gruesome method to end his own life. The detectives determined he probably pressed the tip of the knife to the skin between two upper ribs and then fell chest-first into the ground. the blade was thrust all the way up to the handle and pierced his heart. He was face-up when I saw him after the fire department rolled him over to confirm he was not alive.