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Student commits suicide at VVC
Unidentified male shoots, kills himself in public area
The American Association of Suicidology recommends the mnemonic "IS PATH WARM" to detect warning signs of suicide.
• Ideation, or expressing suicidal thoughts
• Substance abuse
• Purposelessness, or feeling there’s no reason for living
• Anxiety, agitation, unable to sleep or sleeping all the time
• Trapped, feeling there’s no way out
• Anger, rage, seeking revenge
• Recklessness or engaging in risk activities, seemingly without thinking
• Mood changes
If you or someone you know is suicidal, call (800) 273-TALK.
VICTORVILLE • A Victor Valley College student shot and killed himself on campus Wednesday morning, according to college spokesman Bill Greulich.
The student was an 18-year-old male. Though sources gave the Daily Press the student’s name Wednesday, it’s being held until officials confirm they’ve notified family members and agree to formally release his identity.
The incident happened at approximately 10:20 a.m. outdoors in the area between the Student Activities Center and the Academic Counseling building, close to the elevators.
“I was in class in the Science building when it happened,” Jessica Abeyta posted to VVDailyPress.com. “Someone got a text message saying that a student was shot in the head on campus, and our teacher put us immediately on lock-down. The first thing that came to mind was the Virginia Tech shooting. I gotta say, those couple of minutes were pretty scary, not knowing what the heck was going on.”
A single shot was fired, Greulich said, with one or two students nearby at the time. No one else was injured in the incident and students were quickly updated about what had happened.
The teen first sent text messages to family and friends, possibly notifying them of his intentions, according to Randy Naquin, a spokesperson for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
“I was looking at my phone,” said student Cody Meister, who didn’t know the victim. “I looked up and he hit the ground.”
Sheriff’s officials responded to the scene and secured the area, according to Naquin. They were at the scene for several hours investigating the incident.
The Student Activities Center and surrounding areas closed during that time. The area was cleared by the early afternoon.
The entire campus was immediately notified of the incident, using a text messaging system and other means. However, Greulich said classes were continuing as usual Wednesday.
“I don’t think it should have happened at school,” an auto tech student who declined to be named said. “It’s a shame.”
A counselor was slated to be available until 5 p.m. to speak to students who needed to talk to someone about the tragedy, according to VVC counselor Diane Wollan. The college’s counseling services at building 55 are working to help students and to refer them to the appropriate resources.
Online, students and faculty reacted to the news by sharing their feelings of shock and sadness, and they extended their condolences to the family and friends of the victim.
“We are shocked and our concern is for the family and friends, and the students as a whole on the campus,” Greulich said.
Anyone wishing to donate for funeral expenses can do so by going to the Phoenix Foundation website at www.HDPhoenixFoundation.com or call (760) 247-2290.
The following resources are available to those struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts:
• (800) 273-TALK or www.SuicidePreventionLifeline.org
• (800) 784-2433 or Hopeline.com
Community Crisis Response Team
• (760) 956-2345
Didi Hirsch Suicide Crisis Hotline, 24/7
• (877) 727-4747
Veteran’s Crisis Line, 24/7
• (800) 273-8255, www.VeteransCrisisLine.net or text 838255
Crisis Walk-in Centers of the High Desert
• (760) 245-8837 (24/7 access line)
• 16460 Victor St. in Victorville
For children experiencing a psychiatric emergency:
County of San Bernardino Access Unit, 24/7
• (888) 743-1478
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