NYPD Officer Shoots Himself at Home—Eighth NYC Officer to Commit Suicide This Year

August 13, 2019 Updated: August 13, 2019

A New York Police Department officer shot himself in his head inside his house early Aug. 13, the eighth New York cop to commit suicide this year.

Law enforcement sources told the New York Daily News that the officer, who worked for the department for seven years, left a suicide note.

He shot himself around 3:30 a.m. His fiancee was in the house at the time.

The officer was not named but sources told the New York Post that he was 35 years old.

In a statement, the Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York, which represents over 50,000 active and retired New York City Police Officers, said: “SUICIDES: Don’t do it. It solves nothing, and you are leaving devastation behind you. Your fellow cops are under siege. The job created this monster—it won’t get better unless we stick together.”

Four officers took their own lives in the month of June alone, reported the NY Daily News. One of them, Kevin Preiss, a 53-year-old Bronx officer and married father-of-three, was found dead on Long Island on June 27.

“It’s horrible that a person would be driven to that—not be able to get the help they need and feel so helpless,” said neighbor Ellen McGreevy. “I can’t imagine what drove him to that point.”

Amid the rash of suicides this year, NYPD officials sent a message to officers asking them to request help if they have suicidal thoughts.

“As cops you do a great job every day of keeping people safe and helping those in need,” Chief of Department Terence Monahan said in a video posted after NYPD Deputy Chief Steven Silks was found dead by suicide in early June. “Your health and well-being is extremely important to all of us. We all want to make sure you take care of yourself.”

He said police officers can seek assistance from the department for stress, depression, and relationship issues.

“Trust me when I say getting some help will not prevent you from having a successful career,” Monahan said. “Actually, getting help will lessen the burden you may be carrying. You are never alone.”

Commissioner James O’Neill said in a statement after the fifth suicide of the year that officers should seek help if they need it.

“To every member of the NYPD, please know this: it is okay to feel vulnerable,” O’Neill said, reported NBC. “It is okay if you are facing struggles. And it is okay to seek help from others. You may not know this, and it may be hard to imagine, but you are not out there all by yourself.”

“This has to be a continuous process. This has to be done at roll calls. This has to be done in video training,” O’Neill told the broadcaster. “We need to talk about this. This can’t be a deep dark secret. People have to understand that there is help available.”

NYPD police cop car stock
An NYPD vehicle in Brooklyn, New York, on Feb. 17, 2019. (Mimi Nguyen Ly/NTD News)

Seeking Help

The NYPD was searching for assistance from other law enforcement agencies to deal with the crisis.

Monahan spoke to Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson about that department’s efforts in the mental health arena, O’Neill said at a press conference in July, reported The Wall Street Journal.

Johnson convened a summit on suicide prevention in June after six Chicago officers committed suicide across eight months.

Blue H.E.L.P. President and co-founder Karen Solomon, whose husband is an officer, said suicides have been on the rise among police officers in recent years and said some people believe suicides can trigger other suicides.

“One school of thought is that suicidal ideation can contribute to these clusters,” Solomon told the Journal. “It’s almost like when a chief takes his life, it almost gives them permission to do it.”

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
Recommended