Four employees with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) were found dead from an apparent suicide within just 24 hours, authorities said.
The first three deaths occurred on Monday, two in the Santa Clarita Valley and another in Antelope Valley.
Detectives responded to the initial incident in Valencia at around 10:30 a.m.
They were then dispatched to a second incident at 12:53 p.m. in Lancaster.
This was then followed another 5:40 p.m. in Stevenson Ranch.
The following morning, detectives responded to another death at a hospital in Pomona, a city in eastern Los Angeles County.
Sheriff Robert Luna said in a statement to the Epoch Times:
“Our LASD family has experienced a significant amount of loss and tragedies this year.”
“We are stunned to learn of these deaths, and it has sent shockwaves of emotions throughout the department as we try and cope with the loss of not just one, but four beloved active and retired members of our department family.”
The bizarre timing and locations of the deaths have stunned the department.
The sheriff’s department said it was handling each as separate investigations of possible suicide.
The department said they could not confirm their identities.
The Los Angeles Medical Examiner’s Office has still yet to provide further details on the causes of death.
According to the Santa Clarita Valley Signal newspaper, two of the individuals identified as deceased on Monday were determined to have died by suicide. One suffered a gunshot wound to the chest, and the other a gunshot to the head.
One 67 and the other 56, the outlet reported.
Among those who died was a 60-year-old woman employed at the Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic
The employee who died on Tuesday also worked at the Pitchess facility, the Signal reported.
Within the LA Sheriff’s Department, four other employees have died by suicide this year alone, according to an agency spokesperson.
The sheriff said:
“During trying times like these, it’s important for personnel, regardless of rank or position, to check on the wellbeing of other colleagues and friends.”
“I have the deepest concern for our employees’ wellbeing, and we are urgently exploring avenues to reduce work stress factors to support our employees’ work and personal lives.”
The sheriff’s department said it has counseling services for department personnel and a peer support program.
Meanwhile, support services are being offered to families of the employees who died.
“Additionally, the department has a Peer Support Program that members can use for additional assistance,” Luna said in his statement.
Four other Sheriff’s Department employees died by suicide this year, said Nicole Nishida, an agency spokesperson.