Psychiatrist offers insight into police chief suicide

The suicide of La Joya Police Chief Jose Del Angel came as a shock to those in the city he served.

Although few, psychiatrist Dr. Javier Francisco Martinez said unexpected suicides do happen.

"It's a very small percent of people that can surprise you, but it does happen, said Martinez.

What does not surprise Dr. Martinez is the manner in which Del Angel committed suicide, a gunshot to the chest.

"Males tend to actually use guns and hang themselves, said Martinez. That's why men have a higher percentage in completion of suicide."

As to why Del Angel did it, Dr. Martinez does not know.

He did tell Action 4 News research reveals working professionals have a higher rate of suicide.

High responsibility coupled with other stress may have been too much.

"Some of those stressors can be anything from financial, an illness, something that changes dramatically in their life, said Martinez. Maybe a divorce."

Martinez said suicide can serve as more than an escape.

He said by killing himself inside a police car Del Angel may have meant to send a message.

"Not only to escape something that's terrible, but maybe also to get back at something, get back at a facility or something, said Martinez.

While Del Angel is no longer on this earth, Martinez said a burden will likely remain on the family he left behind.

According to Martinez, some warning signs of suicide include isolation, depression, hopelessness and giving away belongings that the person once cherished.

Martinez encourages anyone considering a suicide to seek help.

If you or someone you know suffers from depression and is contemplating suicide, take action.

Help is available 24 hours a day by calling 877-289-7199.