Bizarre crash ends in suicide

Chico police confirm there was no foul play in shooting death

An investigation into a bizarre traffic accident last week near the Chico Walmart that ended with a man’s shooting death has determined the victim took his own life.

The 58-year-old Paradise resident was headed home from his job at the mall on Friday (March 16) when he ran a red light, striking another vehicle, Chico police Sgt. Rob Merrifield said. (No one was injured in the crash.)

The man initially told witnesses he was fine, but moments later they heard a popping sound coming from the vehicle and saw him slumped over the steering wheel. Police found him holding a handgun. They found another gun in his pocket.

Family members did not suspect he was suicidal. However, that’s not unusual in these cases, Merrifield said.

“We get a lot of suicides that are exactly like this, but not in a vehicle,” he said.