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Suicide

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NEWS
By Megan O'Neil and Jeff Tully megan.oneil@latimes.com, jeff.tully@latimes.com | March 9, 2012
A popular Burbank High School football player died at his home in Shadow Hills Tuesday night in what officials have ruled a suicide. The student was identified by Los Angeles County coroner's officials as 17-year-old Matthew Smyser. The official cause of death was released Thursday. Burbank Unified officials were notified of the death Wednesday morning by the Los Angeles Mayor's Crisis Response Team, Supt. Stan Carrizosa said. District grief counselors were immediately deployed to the school, where they remained all week.
NEWS
By Christopher Cadelago | October 23, 2009
DOWNTOWN — The number of people who killed themselves in Burbank this year has more than doubled compared with last year, leaving experts to speculate whether the economic slowdown has played a role. Thirteen people committed suicide since January, compared with six in 2008, according to records released by the Burbank Police Department. Calls for help from victims, family and friends have also increased, Burbank Police Sgt. Robert Quesada said. The calls for help come as a new federal government study showed more than 8 million Americans seriously consider suicide each year.
NEWS
March 15, 2000
Amber Willard NORTHWEST DISTRICT -- Only one shot was fired following an argument that led to a suicide, police said Tuesday. Robert James Toohey, 60, committed suicide early Friday evening at his home on the 1800 block of Frederic Street after a fight with his girlfriend, Shirley Franta. Although some neighbors reported hearing two gunshots, police said the only shot fired was the one that killed Toohey. Franta told police Friday that she thought he shot at her as she left the home.
LOCAL
By Christopher Cadelago | October 20, 2009
DOWNTOWN — The number of people who claimed their own lives in Burbank this year has more than doubled compared to last year, leaving experts to speculate if the economic slowdown has played a role. Thirteen people committed suicide since January, compared with six in 2008, according to records released by the Burbank Police Department. Anecdotally, calls for help from victims, family and friends have also increased , Burbank Police Sgt. Robert Quesada said. The calls for help come as a new federal government study showed more than 8 million Americans seriously consider suicide each year.
LOCAL
By Alison Tully | August 2, 2008
BURBANK — Although a recent suicide at a sober-living facility is raising ongoing worries from its neighbors, city officials and facility residents say there is no cause for concern. Jim West, 46, had been living at the home for about two weeks when he hanged himself on July 17 in the facility’s backyard, according to police and facility resident Jimmy James Murphy. The news reignited neighbors’ fears about the proximity of the facility to their homes and to John Burroughs High and Walt Disney Elementary schools.
LOCAL
By Jeremy Oberstein | June 20, 2008
LOS ANGELES — Defense attorneys started their closing arguments Thursday in the case against Juan Manuel Alvarez, telling jurors that he never intended to kill anyone, and that prosecutors’ attempts to portray Alvarez as an arsonist belie his true intent: suicide. Alvarez is charged with 11 counts of murder with special circumstances and one count each of felony murder, train-wrecking and arson for his role in the Jan. 26, 2005, Metrolink crash that left 11 dead and 184 others injured.
NEWS
By Billie Barron | August 13, 2008
This letter is in response to the question, “Should sober-living facilities be put in residential areas?” (“Suicide riles neighborhood,” Aug. 2-3). Similar questions have been asked when the public expresses concerns about developing landfill areas, constructing new prisons and power plants. The answer is generally the same: Not in my backyard. The suicide that took place at the sober-living facility is unfortunate. Suicide under any circumstances is a tragedy and horrific.
LOCAL
By Jeremy Oberstein | April 3, 2008
GLENDALE — A judge on Thursday refused to dismiss charges against 29-year-old Juan Manuel Alvarez, who is accused of causing a 2005 Metrolink derailment that killed 11 people and injured nearly 200 others. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David S. Wesley rebuffed defense attorneys’ claims that not enough evidence had been given to the court at a May 2005 pretrial hearing where Alvarez was ordered to stand trial. Alvarez was charged with 11 counts of murder with special circumstances and one count each of arson and train wrecking.
NEWS
July 21, 2001
Both my husband and I attended John Burroughs High School. He was very proud to have played football for the Indians. He is from a very fine Choctaw family out of Eastern Oklahoma. I asked him recently how he felt about all this uproar over having an Indian mascot. He was upset. He felt honored to be a Burroughs Brave, as we called players. We both have extensive ties with family who have spent their lives teaching and living with various tribes. They have told us of the heartbreak of seeing the alcohol, drug and suicide rates increasing on the reservations.
ARTICLES BY DATE
THE818NOW
April 19, 2013
A man who was killed after he apparently jumped off the Olive Avenue overpass onto the southbound Golden State (5) Freeway in Burbank Friday morning was from Texas visiting local family members, police said. The man, identified by authorities as Raffi Roobenbakhamian, was seen climbing over the overpass railing about 9:22 a.m., where he hung from for a few seconds and then let go, according to the Burbank Police Department. He was then struck by an oncoming big rig. A Sigalert was issued at 9:43 a.m. after the three right lanes of the southbound I-5 were closed for five hours during the investigation, with traffic stopped from Hollywood Way. Police directed and stopped westbound access to Front Street, police said.
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NEWS
By Veronica Rocha and Jason Wells, Times Community News | December 29, 2012
It had all the intrigue one would expect for a story involving a missing FBI agent: a neighbor who said she saw the man acting strangely on the night before his disappearance; a massive manhunt; a family who pleaded for his safe return; a department-issued handgun, also missing. The case of Stephen Ivens - the Burbank resident who was reported missing May 11 - generated widespread media interest, particularly after an exhaustive on-the-ground search conducted by more than 100 federal and local law enforcement officials failed to turn up a trace of his whereabouts.
THE818NOW
November 6, 2012
Good morning, readers. Today is Tuesday, November 6. A portion of the southbound Hollywood (170) Freeway in North Hollywood was closed early Tuesday as investigators took a man into custody who was allegedly threatening to jump from an overpass . Patch Authorities have identified the victims in a Friday Canoga Park murder-suicide as 29-year-old Bahram Varahram and Asleh Meradi Kashkouli, 25 . Police say that Varahram shot Kashkouli before...
NEWS
August 3, 2012
The hopes of a family were dashed this week with the discovery of the body of FBI Special Agent Stephen Ivens in the foothills above St. Francis Xavier. Ivens' wife, Thea, bravely refused to give up hope that her husband of eight years would return to her and their 2-year-old son, but it was not to be. It looks more and more as though Ivens used his service weapon on himself - it was found near the body - near the time he was reported missing in early May. The massive searches, the online pleas for help, and the news conferences all ended in tragic stillness on a hill above a church.
NEWS
By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com | May 12, 2012
More than 150 law enforcement personnel, about 100 of them from the FBI, are searching for a missing FBI agent from Burbank who is believed to be suicidal and possibly armed. Stephen Ivens, 35, a Los Angeles-based agent specializing in national security affairs, was last seen Friday at his home on the 1700 Block of Scott Road in Burbank, where he lived with his wife and one-year-old son, officials said at a multi-agency press conference Saturday afternoon at the Burbank Police Department.
NEWS
By Megan O'Neil and Jeff Tully megan.oneil@latimes.com, jeff.tully@latimes.com | March 9, 2012
A popular Burbank High School football player died at his home in Shadow Hills Tuesday night in what officials have ruled a suicide. The student was identified by Los Angeles County coroner's officials as 17-year-old Matthew Smyser. The official cause of death was released Thursday. Burbank Unified officials were notified of the death Wednesday morning by the Los Angeles Mayor's Crisis Response Team, Supt. Stan Carrizosa said. District grief counselors were immediately deployed to the school, where they remained all week.
NEWS
By Gretchen Meier, gretchen.meier@latimes.com | December 8, 2010
The identity of the man who killed himself at George Izay Park midday Saturday was not released Tuesday as authorities continued to track down his family. At 12:45 p.m., Burbank police received reports of shots fired near the Creative Arts Center, officials said. Officers discovered a man with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Officials say the man was "a reported critical suicidal walk-away from a local senior assisted living center. " About a dozen children were at the playground 100 feet away when the incident took place, but it appears none of the children saw the shooting, police said.
NEWS
By Melanie Hicken, melanie.hicken@latimes.com | December 4, 2010
A man shot and killed himself at George Izay Park midday Saturday near the picnic tables, police said. No one else was injured. At 12:45 p.m. on Saturday, Burbank police received reports of shots fired near the picnic tables at the park, officials said. Officers who reported to the scene discovered a dead man with an apparent self inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Police have not released his identity, age or city of residency. No other details about the apparent suicide were immediately available.
NEWS
By Melanie Hicken, melanie.hicken@latimes.com | August 13, 2010
BURBANK — A Los Angeles man shot and killed himself Thursday afternoon at the Firing-Line indoor shooting range, police said Friday. Officers responded to the range at 1060 N. Lake St. about 4:30 p.m. Thursday to find the man with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, said Burbank Police Sgt. Darin Ryburn. The man was pronounced dead at the scene by Burbank Fire Department paramedics. He was identified as 42-year-old David Joseph Magarelli, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office.
LOCAL
By Christopher Cadelago | April 7, 2010
DOWNTOWN — Authorities are investigating the possible suicide of a 60-year-old man found hanging Sunday in the Burbank Police Jail. Officers responded about 4:55 p.m. to a jail cell and found the body of John Alfred Flores, of Burbank, strangled by the metal cord of a pay phone, Sgt. Robert Quesada said. His name was released by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office Monday. Police said the body was discovered by an inmate as he was being released from the jail.
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