A Lafayette Parish Sheriff's deputy took his own life earlier today.
The deputy, who KATC will not name out of respect for him and his family, died in uniform, in his sheriff's unit, in front of the sheriff's office.
"The Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office is heartbroken to confirm the loss of a member of our LPSO family who took his own life this morning," a release states.
The deputy began his service with the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office in June 2015. Since then, he served as a deputy on patrol, a member of the SWAT team and most recently, a school resource officer.
“My heart goes out to (the deputy), his immediate family and to all of the brothers and sisters he has at the sheriff’s office. We will do everything in our power to support our employees as we all grieve,” said Sheriff Mark Garber.
The Sheriff’s Office Crisis Intervention Team has been mobilized to provide support, assistance and resources to all employees and their families as this devastating news is processed. Year-round counseling and mental health services are also available to all LPSO employees, no matter the circumstances.
The events surrounding and leading up to the deputy's death are being investigated by the sheriff’s office. His instagram includes a video he posted several hours ago in which he says "This is it for me, I'm doing my part. Do yours. Try peacefully. But if not, by any means necessary." He's wearing his uniform and is driving his unit in the video.
His instagram is full of pictures of his cooking, and funny memes about a variety of topics. One post is a screen shot of a post on his Facebook page that quotes Chief Tecumseh:
“So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.
Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none.
When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.
When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”
If you or someone you know is struggling, please reach out. Here are some hotlines you can call:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
Suicide/Crisis Hotline: 1-800-437-0303