Suicide Kills More People In Massachusetts Than Car Crashes, Homicides Combined

More Massachusetts residents committed suicide in 2013 than died as a result of car crashes and homicides combined, according to However, the state has one of the lowest suicide rates in the country, according to the latest data from the Department of Public Health.

The 585 suicides in Massachusetts during 2013 was slightly lower than the previous year, but higher than in almost every year since 2003, at least. The state began using a sophisticated system to collect suicide data in 2003. The total of 585 put the state at a rate of 8.7 suicides for every 100,000 people, a rate that has increased by an average of 3.6 percent each year since 2003, according to a report by the Department of Public Health, which was ordered by legislators and filed last week.

“Similar to what has been happening in the whole of the U.S., the rate has been going up and the number has been going up,” said Alan Holmlund, director of the Massachusetts Suicide Prevention Program.

New data released by the Department of Public Health shows there were over 40,000 suicides in the U.S. in 2013, making it the tenth leading cause of death for all ages, according to channel

The great majority of suicide victims in 2013 were male (76 percent) and 57 percent of suicides were among people ages 35 to 64.


Suicide On Capitol Steps

This is not new, but there was a largely-overlooked suicide on the steps of the Capitol building earlier this year.

The incident occurred on April 11th of this year, during Washington’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival. Congress had been out of session for the two weeks on spring break.

A man with a sign and a suitcase shot himself on the lower west terrace of the Capitol building. The building was put on lockdown. It was a Saturday.

The man had a sign about “social justice,” according to U.S. Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine. The exact language of that sign is unclear. Some twitter users stated the sign read “Tax the 1%,” according to ABC news.

In 2012, a Greek man named Dimitris Christoulas – a 77-year-old retired pharmacist – shot himself in the Greek capital’s Constitution Square. Witnesses said he put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger after yelling: “I have debts, I can’t stand this anymore.”

That got a lot of media attention and caused an outpouring of anger and grief in Greece and around the world.

However, somehow, when the same thing happened in the U.S. – as it did on April 11th – the story got little to no notice in the U.S. media.

NC Man Threatening Suicide Was Shot, Killed By Police

Briggs died in the incident.Authorities say that a Durham, North Carolina man who said he was going to commit suicide was shot and killed by police Saturday morning.

Sources claim he also pointed the gun at police.

Around 10:30 a.m., police were called to the scene for “an armed suicidal male,” Durham Police said.

“Officers made every effort to get the male to drop his weapon,” stated Wil Glenn, Durham Public Affairs Manager, in a press release.

“Hostage negotiators arrived approximately 20 minutes later and continued to attempt to get the male to drop his weapon for an extended period of time, preliminary understood to be well over 30 minutes,” said Mr. Glenn.

On Sunday, officials identified the man who died as Lavante Trevon Biggs, age 21, of Durham.

The officers then fired their weapons, and the man was shot and taken to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead, writes

“The Durham Police Department extends their thoughts and prayers to the family of the individual involved in today’s tragic incident,” Glenn wrote in the release.

The police chief Jose Lopez says that the four officers involved have all been put on administrative leave, writes ABC News.

Provincial Minister In Pakistan Killed In Suicide Bomb Attack

Shuja Khanzada on 17 May 2015A senior provincial minister in Pakistan who was at the forefront of the country’s fight against militants and banned sectarian groups was killed in a suicide bomb attack on Sunday, officials said.

Shuja Khanzada, 72, the home minister of Punjab Province, was in the middle of a political meeting in his home district of Attock early on Sunday.  A loud explosion destroyed the building he was in.

At least 10 other people were also said to have been killed in the bombing, and several were reported wounded.

High Jail Suicide Rates In U.S.

In 2011, the rate of jail suicides was 43 per 100,000 local jail inmates, which was much higher than the rate of 11.5 per 100,000 people in the country’s general population. Sources claim suicide was the leading cause of death for people in jail.

The second leading cause of death in jails is heart disease.

According to National Public Radio, About 1,000 people die in American jails every year and about a third of those are suicides.

The International Business Times writes that in the first decade of the 2000s, more than 3,500 local jail inmates committed suicide.

The suicide rates in local jails are even much higher than in (federal or state) prisons.

Why is the rate so high? Corrections expert and consultant Steve J. Martin says prison administrators have the advantage of getting detailed information about the inmates they receive. However, jails do not.

“When you come right off the street, there is a world of difference in the risk of harm that relates to that person about whom you literally know little or nothing,” he says.

NPR writes that jails screen new arrivals for depression; it’s often a questionnaire, the kind that was administered to Sandra Bland twice in Waller County.

However, even when mental illness is obvious, jailers sometimes seem dangerously indifferent.

The International Business Times writes that suicide was the leading cause of unnatural deaths in local jails between 2000 and 2007, accounting for approximately 29 percent of all jail deaths during that period, according to data kept by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics’ Death in Custody Reporting Program.

The annual rate of those deaths has been mostly constant since the mid-1980s, according to the Justice Department data.

“The degrading and often dangerous living conditions in many jails and prisons amount to cruel and unusual punishment, jail experts and formerly incarcerated individuals have said,” writes the International Business Times. The conditions of incarceration imposed on jail inmates are conducive to the idea of suicide because the environment eliminates personal control, cuts off social support networks, restricts access to mental health resources, and creates isolation and privacy, according to an analysis by the U.S. Marshal Service.

(Updated article)

Apparent Suicide From Sunset Rock At Lookout Mountain At Chattanooga Tennessee

A woman fell 90 feet from Sunset Rock at Lookout Mountain near Chattanooga, Tennessee last Tuesday. She has been identified as Sarah Hunt of Chattanooga.

Ms. Hunt was a native of Great Lakes, Ill., and was a graduate of Hixson High School and UTC with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design, writes The Chattanoogan.

Park Rangers were able to make contact with Hunt’s family on Wednesday evening.

The family told investigators that Hunt had previously been treated for a mental illness and that a suicide note was found at the home, according to Todd Roeder, chief ranger at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.  Sunset Rock belongs to that system of parks.

“The investigation is now finished,” Roeder said, according to “The medical examiner did not find any signs of foul play and her injuries seem to be the result of a fall of that kind.”

Hunt’s body was found on a trail at the bottom of Sunset Rock by two hikers, writes

They attempted CPR and called 911 around 5:15 p.m., writes When emergency personnel arrived on scene they determined that Hunt was dead.

Murder-Suicide In South Carolina Kills 4

Police found the bodies of four people, including a local official, who’d been shot to death inside a Rock Hill, South Carolina, home on Sunday.

Authorities are not looking for a suspect in the case, which is being called an apparent murder-suicide, according to NBC News.

The victims have been identified as a man and his wife, her son and the son’s girlfriend, writes People Magazine.

Anna Moore worked as the Assistant Manager for York County in South Carolina. supervising Animal Control, the Department of Fire Safety, Emergency Management, the detention center, Public Safety Communications and the Summer Feeding Program, according to The Rock Hill Herald.

York County is near Charlotte, North Carolina.