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Menlo Park man commits suicide in Baylands

Original post made on May 24, 2008

A Menlo Park man in his late 70s shot and killed himself Friday afternoon in a parking lot of Palo Alto's Baylands Nature Preserve, Police Sgt. Sandra Brown said.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 23, 2008, 8:10 PM

Comments (10)

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Posted by Michele Slow 911 Response
a resident of Midtown
on May 24, 2008 at 7:05 am

My nephew's father-in-law witnessed the suicide - the elderly man came up to him to ask him to dial 911 then walked away and pulled the trigger. The witness tried in vain to call 911 for twenty minutes before getting thru - busy signals then transfered from East Palo Alto to Palo Alto police - then the police couldn't find them - in all it too almost one hour before the police arrived. Shouldn't our 911 system work better than this? What if someone were in danger, or could have been saved. My friend reports that the police did an excellent job once they arrived.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 24, 2008 at 8:18 am

What a strange, sad story.

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Posted by resident
a resident of Midtown
on May 24, 2008 at 10:03 am

it was not an hour.. the 10 minute confusion on the phone contacting 911/chp/wrongcity sucked, but then police responded immediately (there are problems with auto connect from cell phones in areas that are sometimes "blurred" in terms of city lines-- when youre on the freeway and call 911 sometimes you get the city you're passing, sometimes you get chp...etc..). and "not being able to find him" means sometimes there is confusion at the specific location-the baylands is a HUGE area and there are several parking lots..dont be so quick to judge the police when hearing the story from a sisters brothers cousins twice removed friend's nephew.. if the man immediately walked away and pulled the trigger, doesnt that mean that there wasnt much police could do anyways? i mean its hard to say the phone call and police response could have been within a minute from the man asking to call 911 and the police "saving him" before he pulled the trigger....

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Posted by Michele Slow 911 Response
a resident of Midtown
on May 24, 2008 at 10:20 am

I actually spoke with my relative who called in the 911 call. It took him 20 minutes to get thru due to a busy signal.He was from out of town and it took the police a while to actually find his location - not a fault of the police. I am not criticizing them at all. The problem was the busy signal. Of course this man couldn't be saved, but if I were at the Baylands and needed immediate help, I wouldn't want to get busy signals. I don't quite understand your hostility.

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Posted by zip
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 24, 2008 at 10:23 am


Why are you so sure of your facts? I'd buy this, but there's been so much press lately about the new technology for identifying area from where shots were fired. We have the technology. Having personally gotten nowheres dialing 911 in the past, I'm inclined to believe this.

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Posted by me too
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 24, 2008 at 10:34 am

that has happened to me too. i was on the freeway in sj and called 911 to report a possible DUI driver, and learned that you have to dial 9-1-1- and THEN another number. i guess there are too many people who accidentally dial 911 and so they are trying to fix that? i didnt think it helped because many don't know. i think the tech is getting better but its still not perfect- one sheriff i spoke with said youre better off keeping the CHP main dispatch number (i think its located somewhere in vallejo) if youre on the freeway and want to call in.. that seems a little crazy though.

for info:
1. Web Link
2. (this one is about across the bay cities but it still applies)
Web Link

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Posted by Peter
a resident of another community
on May 24, 2008 at 12:01 pm

I believe that there are local emergency response numbers to use when you are on a cell phone. There's one for Palo Alto, there's one for a regional respose center in Mt. View, etc.

Call your local police or email the Road Show guy at the Mercury-News to find out.

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Posted by wrong number?
a resident of Ventura
on May 24, 2008 at 1:15 pm

Can't hurt to add these numbers into your cell phone in case of emergency in SC County, from Web Link):

Local Emergency Contacts in Santa Clara County
Dial 9-1-1 to report emergencies from regular telephone lines. When using a cellular telephone, if you are able, dial the direct, local seven digit number to be connected to the 911 Center in your area. The seven digit emergency phone number for each 911 Center in Santa Clara County is listed below. Store this seven digit number in your cell phone should you need to call during an emergency.
Campbell 408.378.8161
Cupertino 408.299.3233
Gilroy 408.842.0191
Los Altos 650.947.2779
Los Altos Hills 408.299.3233
Los Gatos 408.354.8600
Milpitas (Police)408.263.1212
Milpitas (Fire) 408.998.7212
Monte Sereno 408.354.8600
Morgan Hill 408.779.2101
Mountain View 650.968.1661
Palo Alto (Police) 650.321.4433
Palo Alto (Fire) 650.321.2231
San Jose 408.277.8911
San Martin 408.299.3233
Santa Clara (Police) 408.296.2236
Santa Clara (Fire) 408.296.1515
Saratoga 408.299.3233
Sunnyvale 408.736.6244

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Posted by KT
a resident of Midtown
on May 26, 2008 at 1:11 am

This is like the third suicide in a couple of months. What is in the water around here? It is so freigtening that someone would take their life in front of so many people. I think that would seriously scar me for life. Why do it at all?

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Posted by sohill
a resident of another community
on May 27, 2008 at 2:45 pm

So before visiting the bay area visitors should avail themselves of all these phone numbers and know exactly which county they are if they want to have emergency services? Should they be blamed if they don't?
What a parochial and third world system!
But thanks for the numbers. I'll try to put them all on assigned dial and be very careful not to step over city lines....

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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