PHOENIX--As reported by a local ABC affiliate earlier today, an embittered homeowner shot himself in the head Tuesday on the outskirts of town as SWAT members entered his home to evict him due to an impending foreclosure.
When deputies arrived around mid morning to evict the homeowner, the man left a pleading voice message with the police department, telling them he had no where else to live and asking them what he should do.
Deputies across the country have become inured to anguished homeowners taking desperate measures, sometimes turning violent, during evictions as the foreclosure crisis has deepened. Fearing that this homeowner could become combative or violent, the deputies on the scene called the SWAT team for backup.
By the time the SWAT team arrived, the homeowner was unresponsive. When they entered the home, they found the man alert and waiting in a recliner and holding a gun. Before they could act to stop him, the man lifted the gun and shot himself in the head.
Foreclosure and eviction-related suicides and attempted suicides are becoming all too common during our nation's economic crisis. Last year, a woman faxed a note to her lender before committing suicide on the day her home was to be auctioned saying, "By the time you read this, I'll be dead." Her note said that she had simply run out of options. An retired couple in Oregon filled their house with carbon monoxide, killing themselves and their four Golden Retrievers after they were unable to negotiate with their mortgage lender to get out of foreclosure.
Losing a home is one of the most stressful and traumatic events that can happen to a person. A home is part of who a person is. Success is often measured by the worth of one's home. Hardworking Americans own their own homes. So much of what a person owns in a home is an emotional investment -- a feeling of security, the status that accompanies it, the self-worth that a homeowner feels.
The yet unidentified Youngtown man was transported via emergency helicopter to a trauma center in Phoenix placed on life support.