Thursday, February 11 , 2016, 12:10 am | Fair 52º

Elderly Man Kills Self in Courtyard of Retirement Home

By Tom Bolton, Noozhawk Executive Editor | @tombol |

An elderly man who apparently was despondent about his health killed himself Wednesday in a courtyard at a local retirement community, according to the Santa Barbara Police Department.

Officers were called about 10:20 a.m. to Vista del Monte on Modoc Road, where they found the body of the victim, an 88-year-old resident, Sgt. Riley Harwood said.

The victim, whose name was not released, shot himself in the head with a .38-caliber revolver, according to Harwood.

A woman — the daughter of another Vista del Monte resident — was in the courtyard at the time, Harwood said, adding that she heard the gunshot but did not see the actual shooting.

He said the victim left suicide notes in the courtyard and inside his residence.

“This was obviously something that had been planned,” Harwood said. “It was not spontaneous.”

Harwood said the man had been suffering from health issues and indicated that his quality of life was gone.

The Santa Barbara County Coroner’s Office took custody of the body and was notifying the victim’s family, Harwood said.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

» on 11.28.12 @ 09:39 PM

88 is a pretty good run… But why not do it in your own apartment instead of in the middle of a courtyard?

» on 11.29.12 @ 12:34 AM

Bless his heart.  He did what he needed to do, with dignity and respect.  I honor his decision and respect his family and friends.  Blessings to him and his loved ones.

» on 11.29.12 @ 01:41 AM

I echo NatureBoy. Sympathies, though, to this gentleman’s family. He was thoughtful to not suicide in the apartment.

» on 11.29.12 @ 10:46 AM

I continue to find it very sad that animals can be “put to sleep” when they are suffering, but humans cannot.  It continues to be illegal for doctors to help people pass on when they are ready. Those who have religious beliefs against choosing when they die do not have to make that choice, but they should not make that decision for the rest of us.

» on 11.29.12 @ 01:23 PM

Assisted suicide would be so much better than a bullet in the head in one’s front yard.

» on 12.01.12 @ 12:21 PM

I am relieved that the previous comments were all supportive of assisted suicide.  I wish that it were legal.  Too many people suffer and should have the right to decide when and how they die.  I too had a dog that was “put down” on my porch, lying in the sun with me at his side.  It was beautiful and respectful of the years we had enjoyed together.  Hospice helps people at the end of life, but there are so many who don’t qualify for hospice.  Hospice take people with 6 months of life left.  Perhaps they could take people with 6 months of suffering left.

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