Man Commits Suicide in Front of Mission Dolores

En Español.

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An unidentified man committed suicide in front of the Mission Dolores gift shop this morning, according to a witness and police.

At around 7 a.m., the chapel’s custodian, Raju Kumar, noticed that a man, whom he described as around 80 years old, was sleeping on top of the steps in front of the Mission’s gift shop.

A press release from the Archdiocese of San Francisco identified the person as a “homeless man” in his 40s or 50s.

“Get up, it’s about time,” Kumar recalls telling the man. He added that it is not unusual to see people passed out in front of the church early in the morning.

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As the man got up, Kumar noticed that his wrist was bloody and asked him if he was OK. When Kumar saw a gun inside the man’s open umbrella, he stepped back and asked a passerby to call the police. At that moment, the man picked up the gun and pointed it at his head.

“Don’t do that! Don’t do that!,” Kumar recalls telling the man before he shot himself in the head. Police and other first responders arrived about 10 minutes later and took the body, Kumar said.

The suicide victim’s identity is unknown at this time, according to the press release from the Archdiocese. Officer Daryl Fong of the San Francisco Police Department confirmed that the incident is currently being investigated as a suicide.

The release goes on to state that a public mass will be held for the man and that the Archdiocese will make arrangements for his burial if necessary.

As for Kumar, he said he doesn’t know how he will forget the incident. He was working at the chapel this morning and said he will probably take some time off tomorrow.

(Note: Mission Loc@l typically does not report on suicides, but we made an exception with this case because it happened in a very public space, where many people could see the aftermath of the incident.)

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8 Comments

  1. suki

    I’m so sorry for Mr Kumar. I hope he gets the love and support he needs.

  2. That an 80 year old was sleeping on the steps in the first place is disconcerting. Is that what people have to look forward to?

    • nativa

      I walk right in front before dawn each weekday morning and in fact he may have been there this morning. There are always some and sometimes many in the alcoves of the old mission as well as the church. Your question is one I ask myself each day and I only answer: ‘there but for fortune go I’.

    • Yes, this is the future, most of us will end up on the streets, if we’re lucky , ,, if the Big One hits and it will, everyone will be on the streets. YOu can always tell the new ones on the streets, they have that thousand yard stare . . .can’t believe they ended up there . .. it’s proof our nation has failed. The righteousness of a nation is determined by how they treat their weakest members. I can’t wait until they open the Soylent Green centers, I will wait in line to be first, because I can’t stand watching it anymore, and knowing it doesn’t have to be like this, but our society would rather give money to yacht racers, would rather encourage overpopulation and insane competition instead of treating others as we would have ourselves treated.

  3. L.

    Indeed, Love to Mr. Kumar and the desperate man who suicided. This is heartbreaking. Perhaps this man sought sanctuary as best as he could at the time, not so much to be saved but to not end his life alone, to be with strangers who might care.

  4. Ana

    This makes me incredibly sad!! Yes, how awful that Mr. Kumar had to witness this tragedy!!! I hope he gets counseling soon! You have my prayers!

  5. Neighbor

    I am one of the old man’s neighbors. He wasn’t a drunk, he wasn’t homeless. He was a very sweet man. He took care of the whole apartment building, fixing things when they broke, tending the garden, etc..

  6. b beebe

    This says it: Indeed, Love to Mr. Kumar and the desperate man who suicided. This is heartbreaking. Perhaps this man sought sanctuary as best as he could at the time, not so much to be saved but to not end his life alone, to be with strangers who might care.

    This is not a “downtown” trend…

Comments are closed.