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West Flagler Man Shoots Himself Twice With .22 and Survives, But in Critical Condition

| July 19, 2017

Panda Bear Lane, in western Flagler off of County Road 305, is lined with a few scattered, isolated properties.

Panda Bear Lane, in western Flagler off of County Road 305, is lined with a few scattered, isolated properties.

John Joseph Kipe, a 54-year-old resident of Panda Bear Lane in Bunnell, is in critical condition after what appears to be an attempted suicide by gunshots Tuesday evening. Kipe, his wife reported to 911 dispatchers, had shot himself twice with what would later be determined to be a .22-caliber rifle.


As is usually the case in such instances, and while indications point in that direction, authorities are not yet ruling it an attempted suicide, as the investigation is continuing.

Kipe’s wife, terrified, reported the shooting to 911 around at 7:08 p.m. She told the dispatcher Kipe had shot himself in the throat but she was afraid to go near him: the rifle was still in his hands, he was breathing, and she did not feel safe going near him She told the dispatcher that he had hurt her “a long time ago,” when he was using drugs. (Kipe has an aggravated assault charge going back to 2000, among other, more recent charges, all of which were dropped). She noted that there were many weapons in the house.

Seeking to secure the scene so paramedics to go in, Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies sought to have Kipe’s wife come outside. She told them she was unable to do so. She would have had to step over her husband, and did not want to do that. Deputies went in through an unlocked front door, at which point the victim’s wife called out to them. Kipe was bleeding heavily. Two deputies checked him for additional weapons and secured the scene, enabling paramedics to tend to Kipe. He was placed on an ambulance and driven to a helicopter landing zone nearby.

Flagler County Fire Flight, the emergency helicopter, was not in service, and Air One was on another call. Trauma One was called in and landed at Hollar and Greene, the produce distributor off County Road 305, at 7:36 p.m. Kipe was flown to Halifax hospital in Daytona Beach.

The investigation was then turned over to sheriff’s detectives and crime scene investigators.

Kipe’s wife told authorities “her husband had been acting strange the past few days,” a sheriff’s incident report noted, and wanted his mother to help her talk to him. She called Kipe’s 81-year-old mother, who was on her way from her Ormond Beach home, when the shooting took place.

The attempted suicide takes place amid rising concern in the county about the number of suicides locally. Those numbers have been rising in the last two years.

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12 Responses for “West Flagler Man Shoots Himself Twice With .22 and Survives, But in Critical Condition”

  1. Concerned Citizen says:

    It’s sad that suicide is so prevalent in this county. Doesn’t seem to be much help for folks that desperate.

    What is also sad is the fact that Flagler County can’t afford to pay to have Fire Flight on 24 hour duty. We pay our city manager and county administrator huge salaries though. Priorities right?

    At the end of the day we can’t pay to have a Pilot and flight medic to work the 8p-8a shift and rely on outside mutual aid to fill mission requests. It’s time consuming to do this when minutes matter.

    With the population we have Flagler County needs 24 hour coverage for Fire Flight. Unfortunately our county officials don’t see this need and cut budgets in critical services so it can be spent somewhere else.

    Remember stuff like this when the next election comes up. We cry and moan about traffic enforcement and other things. Where is the outrage when we don’t have air support for critical life saving missions?

  2. Sw says:

    Permanent solution to a temporary problem

  3. Sw says:

    @CC On point well said

  4. Lonzo brown says:

    Palm Coast city manager probably has to back in to get his paycheck,
    Such stupid politicians to pay him a rediculas salary
    Hope next one is going to be paid a salary compared to residents salaries.
    They think everybody in Palm Coast is rich

  5. r&r says:

    That’s right blame the county because someone tried to commit suicide. What a joke.

  6. Robert says:

    Not all these are suicides, better get your facts straight.

  7. Freddy says:

    Several weapons in the house but did not specify firearms. I was just wondering why one would use a 22 caliber weapon to commit suicide unless there was nothing larger. Shoot yourself twice?

  8. Hmmm says:

    There’s nothing wrong with what Robert said. So are you telling me any life flight situation in this county during the night hours are all suicide attempts?

  9. Richard says:

    Did someone just coin a word? jackassery?

  10. Concerned Citizen says:

    R&R no one is blaming the county.

    The facts are there aren’t much resources for people with mental health issues.

    It’s also a well known fact that Emergency Services took a critical hit years ago when they lost 24 hour coverage for Fire Flight.

    County Administrators were sure eager to chop the 8p-8a shift for lack of funding. Yet no one bothered to try and allocate funding or offer salary reductions to make it happen.

    Instead we haphazardly hope we can get Air One Or another Medivac in time during a critical incident. In this case it almost didn’t work out.

    It takes time to deploy air support from an outside resource. That time is often a judging factor in whether someone survives a life threatening incident..

    Whether a suicide attempt, MVA or other traumatic event I bet you would want a loved one to get help ASAP.

    At the end of the day our county officials decide what we have in the way of law enforcement, fire rescue and other essential services. Remember this at the polls and demand change.

    I have to lean with Freddy a little bit. A 22 rifle and 2 shots? With other fire arms in the house? Doesn’t smell right at all.

    Flaglerlive good job with jackassery. Might have to use that one myself.

  11. Joe says:

    Sad not that nobody offers prayers for him and his family & friends. sometimes we need to set politics aside and be human. I do not no him but hear he was a very nice man and always willing to help a friend. I pray for him, family and friends and hope he makes it through this.

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