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Timothy Daniel, 17-Year-Old Student, Takes His Life With a Gun

| July 25, 2017

Timothy Daniel in recent Facebook profiles.

Timothy Daniel in relatively recent Facebook profiles.

Timothy Allen Daniel, a 17-year-old student who went by Timmy, took his life by gunshot Monday evening at his home on Bud Hollow Drive. It was at least the sixth recorded suicide in seven weeks in Palm Coast, the first involving a teen since last August.


Daniel listed himself as a student at Matanzas High School, for which he was zoned, but he never actually attended the school, a district official said, after he was withdrawn from Indian Trails Middle School. He was home-schooled. He had also attended Flagler Technical Institute, where he had a disciplinary issue.  For the Matanzas High School community, however, it is the fifth violent death involving a current or recently former student since January 2016: two students were killed in traffic-related crashes, three took their lives (four, dating back to 2014).

“OMG! I don’t know this poor soul but I just can’t believe the number of suicides that we are seeing,” Colleen Conklin, the school board member who organized an electronic town hall on suicide awareness in January 2016, wrote on her Facebook page Monday, after learning of the apparent suicide of Tracy Vandament, 48, on July 20, but before learning of Daniel’s death. Conklin had hosted the town hall with Barbara Coxwell, the mother of Dalton Coxwell, a Matanzas High student who took his life in 2013.

“I’ve been asking myself if it’s Flagler County but I’m beginning to believe it’s not Flagler and that it’s everywhere,” Conklin continued, noting recent reporting on the issue in these pages. “I’m beginning to believe that others aren’t reporting what is happening due to the stigma around suicide and of course the heartbreak and sensitivity for their families. I’m wonder just how expansive it is; is it a national crisis? is it connected to lack of mental health services, unemployment, a lack of faith or how opioids are ravaging our country? Why? Why such a deep sense of hopelessness that this seems like the only solution. Communities need to report these cases. We need to remove the stigma around depression and mental illness. If we don’t we will never get to examine the root causes behind such drastic and life ending decisions.”

People responding to Conklin referred to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention or proposed forms of mentoring or peer-to-peer counseling in school, proposals Conklin said were worth looking into.

Daniel’s death was uncovered between 6 and 6:30 p.m. Monday.

“There’s only one thing that can make a mother make the noise I heard,” a neighbor said after hearing the screams of Betty Daniel, Timmy’s 51-year-old mother, and before what has become the familiar routine at scenes of suicide: an early swarm of law enforcement officials, the brief appearance of paramedics (in this case, from Palm Coast Fire Department’s Engine 23), one of whom pronounces the person’s death with an official time (6:30 in this case), the paramedics’ departure, the summoning of a victim’s advocate, the ushering of the family out of the house, the turning over of the scene to the sheriff’s Crime Scene Investigation unit and to its detectives, with crime scene tape stretches around parts of the property. The activity then gradually diminishes, and hours later, or the next day, the family returns, as it did today to the house at 13 Bud Hollow Drive.

Daniel, his mother told authorities, had been depressed, and had previously been Baker Acted–the legal but not usually voluntary hospitalization of an individual in a psychiatric ward for up to 72 hours, for evaluation. A criteria of Baker Acting is when an individual threatens to do harm to himself or herself, or to others, especially individuals who express suicidal wishes.

“My children may not have everything they want in life,” a meme his mother had once posted on his page read, “but they have a mom who loves them more than anything in the world.” He had more recently shared a video about sons and mothers that requited the emotion.

Daniel had been in his room, his door locked, and used a Remington .22 caliber revolver, with its trigger guard removed by a saw or a blade, according to a Flagler County Sheriff’s incident report. His mother told a deputy she had last seen Daniel on Sunday evening, around 7:30 p.m. They had had a brief argument, the sort of trivial argument over dinner choices that unfolds in innumerable homes anywhere every evening: Daniel was upset that he couldn’t get Taco Bell, went to his room, and his mother didn’t see him the rest of the evening. She knocked on his door Monday evening and couldn’t open it. She used a credit card, and found her son.

“I don’t know what happened to you — but we were friends. We never got to hang out though.. but you were a good friend. You had a trait that most people didn’t have, and that was the generosity you had. You always asked me how I was doing whenever we’d talk. The last conversation we had was recent, and you asked to come to Virginia with me so you’d see your cousins. I’m sure that you’re resting in peace and that you’re in a better place. I wish that it didn’t have to be so soon.”

The following resources are available for individuals in crisis:

In Daytona Beach: Stewart-Marchman Act Corporation Crisis Center
1220 Willis Avenue
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
Administrative Phone: (904) 947 – 4270
Crisis Line: (800) 539 – 4228
Available 24 hours.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 800/273-8255.

If you are concerned for someone else, read about warning signs here.

See the University of South Florida’s Youth Suicide Prevention School-Based Guide here.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

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29 Responses for “Timothy Daniel, 17-Year-Old Student, Takes His Life With a Gun”

  1. Ben Dover says:

    I lost my sister to suicide she was only 28 , opiods weren`t a thing back then , alcohol , depression and a ignorant Dr who told her and our family the meds he was giving her couldn`t kill her , not to mention in 1985 the ambulance in Palm Coast took 75 minutes to get to our house.

  2. A Friend says:

    That’s what’s wrong with this town. I’m tired of seeing many kids dying because of how terrible this town is.
    Everyone here is depressed, half our school is. Admit it or not, The ones who won’t admit it, they end up using drugs and alcohol to cover their sorrows, partying, having sex.
    But for the few who do not do these things, Like Timothy, should of had someone by his side, someone he could talk to about his feelings and thoughts about suicide. But it’s so looked down upon it discourages kids and young adults to seek help because they are ” crazy.” and not well.
    If we can remove that stereotype now, our town and world would be so much better, and brave, kind souls like Timothy could still be here today. We shall not take his death in vain, we need to take this to better ourselves and the community around us.

  3. Sad says:

    I really just hope his mother knows it wasn’t her fault. I’m praying for the family and all of his friends. He was a very sweet kid, always waved when I drove by.

  4. ASF says:

    My deepest sympathies to the family. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to family and friends or any kind of counseling and supports you may need to deal with this tragedy.

  5. Michael Manning says:

    No more. We can’t allow this to continue in our community. No more town halls and then sitting on the sideline until the next tragedy happens. No more canned statements about change and doing nothing. It is time for everyone to come together to prevent tragedies like this. Students, teachers, parents, regular everyday people, retired citizens everyone and anyone can help prevent tragedies like this. I didn’t know Timothy nor did I know many of the others who have taken their own life or lost their life on a Flagler County street but my heart is broken nonetheless, especially for the friends and families of the victims. We all need to come together to help prevent suicide in our schools and to make the streets in our community safe. We have seen too much loss of life here, each of us needs to take action to build a safer Flagler County.

  6. Jack Howell says:

    I am currently working with two teens in the Teens-In-Flight program whose dad’s committed suicide as a result of PTSD. As a member of the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, I use aviation as a conduit to help these teens deal with their depression and PTSD issues. Suicide has become a national epidemic and there is not enough professional help available to help those in need of loving and psychological care.

  7. Joe Kenda says:

    Gosh this is so sad!! RIP..

  8. Iron says:

    Kids are NOT dying because of this town- Kids are dying because they choose to. At the last high school graduation, I saw hundreds of kids who choose to live!

  9. Teri says:

    This was my neighbor . We were not friendly. But it hurts this happened. I herd the gunshot and it bothers so much I couldn’t sleep thinking about it last night. I herd the small children crying, that was horrible . This was awful. My heart breaks for those children.

  10. Sad to hear. says:

    So sad to hear of another young life lost to suicide. My daughter lost 2 very close friends nearly 2 years ago to suicide. It’s an absolute tragedy….however it pains me to see someone blame “this town”. Palm Coast is a very nice community, even though it does lack things to do you for it’s teenage population. Suicide has become an epidemic across this country not just here in Palm Coast. Mental health still carries a stigma and is not made easily available to people of limited means. Look at the recent celebrity suicides with Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington. These were men of means to get help yet depression got the best of them. I’ll admit I thought my daughter was going through typical teenage angst but kids today just don’t handle things the way we used to. I see signs of depression in my other child and I’m looking into therapy options (which are very few) now because I do not want to lose my child. Parents, family members, friends if you see warning signs do whatever you can to get help for that person. Don’t think you’re being a snitch, you just might save a life.

  11. Erik says:

    This isn’t a Flagler thing. I have worked with stats and numbers for a long time. The top killers of teens has been (for a long time): suicide and automobile accidents. Substance abuse sometimes is more common but usually is third (I perceive related to both #1and #2). Part of the issue is how our brains change from puberty to mid 20s. Parents need to discuss these three issues with their children regularly and emotionally support them. And if the children still make a horrible decision, it is not the parents fault; teens make choices including poor ones. So sorry for the loss :(

  12. Barb says:

    RIP Timmy.

  13. Maddison N says:

    I was one of his close friends since he was young. We would go to the beach and hang out everynow and then. We had a 2 year strong relationship. He was such a charming and sweetest guy ive met. We even planned out future together and when we would of got older we would of ran away to tennesse because he really loved that place. But he was depressed for a while and would exclude himself from hanging out with me because he would be too sad to go out. Hehated middle school and has struggles finding a good job. last time i talked to him was on sunday. A day before his death. It was a breaf converstation that i wish i had made it longer. He was such an amazing funny guy. His life shouldnt of ended so soon. He meant alot to me. I cant imagine what Betty and his family is goin through :(

  14. beachcomberT says:

    Another national hotline, reaching out to kids struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identity, is The Trevor Project — 866-488-7386. Their website is http://www.thetrevorproject.org

  15. Old Lady says:

    Regardless of who said or did what, it;s time to cherish your children. Thoughts and prayers to all the loved ones

  16. RayD says:

    Very sad, condolences to the family and friends. There seem to be a lot of suicides in Flagler County. The national suicide rate is 13.7 per 100000. I can’t seem to find the number of suicides in Flagler on an annual basis. Its as hard to find as the number of snake bites in Flagler.

  17. Sad Mom says:

    I would not use the word CRAZY it’s a cry for help…I’ve been there with my child and it’s hard, but TOUGH LOVE is better than nothing . ..

  18. Anonymous says:

    There is nothing around for people with mental health issues anymore. Everybody assumes its drug or alcohol abuse. The real mental health facilities have been shut down. Individuals with real issues are mixed in with the substance abusers. I know this because I have a family member with issues. Palm Coast only has therapist who sometimes are not what an individual needs. A good psychIatrist is expensive and you need to go outside the County. Insurance doesn’t recognize it in there coverage for the long term.

  19. Ben Dover says:

    It is a shame , my heart goes out to his family and friends, even when a loved one is terminally ill, you can never be prepared for their loss no matter how much you try , but to lose someone so suddenly like that , you blame yourself , should of seen the signs , I should of spent more time with them , it takes a very long time to get over a loss like that ,you never do, you just learn to cope better , and keep them alive in your mind and heart, I will keep them in my prayers…..they need to have more places for teens to go , things to do , with people to talk to , I tried joining a big brother program , was already giving money to United Way out of my pay check , I`d lost my daughter , born premature only lived 20 minutes , it would of been beneficial for me to throw a football around with a father.less young man , and for him as well , but was told they don`t have the big brother program here , sometimes kids are uncomfortable talking to people in the family because of fear of being judged or at school to a counselor , I think this new program the Flagler County Sheriffs office is starting for sports with middle school students is great…..but feel there should be a ;place at night , like a well supervised arcade , or a go cart track , something fun ,there has to be more then school , TV and the computer….. a place supervised with people that like and want to help kids out , properly vetted to weed out the ones that prey on children. we have all that land on US one , not much room for more building here ……so buy up some of that tree farm land and build some fun things for kids to do with their family and friends, it`d also be nice to have a real Mall without traveling north or south , build our counties economy, create jobs , would be another place kids could go as well as adults…..But what do I know , I came here when the only place to get food was a hot dog from a Handyway on Club House Dr where the pods are , the only bank was Security First and it was in a mobile home , to food shop you had to go to Bellaire :Plaza on A1A in Ormond, our roads were dirt, the only restaurant was where Ocean Shore is on A1A , it was called Mama Mia`s, well that and the Pier Restaurant, there is no down town , the city is a hod podge of half empty strip malls, Christmas is dismal in this place , you have to drive to Town Center to see lights , ITT used to wrap all the palm tree`s on Palm Coast Pkwy with lights , now some pathetic little flag with a horn on it…..for the money it cost to live here , we should get a lot more variety of eateries , no reason for McDonald`s on every other corner and Wendy`s in between , where`s our Sonic , 5 Guys Burgers , it`s a monotonous over crowded Monopoly Board and people are literally dying to get out.

  20. Layla says:

    This is happening in every city and it is happening because these children have no structure in their lives. Parents want to be friends, not parents and our children NEED PARENTS. Look at the world these kids see….sex, drugs, etc. what happened to teen sports, school dances, CHAPARONES? Our children have been thrown into an adult world they are unprepared to handle. Take away the electronic devices and teach theses kids how to communicate with one another in healthy, and loving relationships. That’s how you end this.

  21. Layla says:

    Maddison, I am so sorry for your loss. Timmy will live in the hearts of all who knew and loved him. His life, as short as it was, mattered a great deal. Never forget that.

  22. RayD says:

    The suicide rate per 100,000 for Flagler in 2015 was 23.9 which was third highest in the state that year and far above the national average. There most definitely is a problem.

  23. another vet says:

    maybe suicides are up because this generation can’t handle real life, just a thought

  24. Lourdes says:

    This was my best friend my right hand my go to guy I’m so sorry ms.daniel I hope you know that it had nothing to do with you I wish he talked to me but he didn’t I’ve always been there for him he was there for me he mad me smile and got me through so much it’s not ok what people are doing around here it makes me sick I’m sorry Timmy I love you I miss you Rest In Peace I’ll pray for you 🙏🏻❤️

  25. Alphonso Zeimers says:

    I’m wondering if any of the junk you see one Facebook contributed to this in any way ?

  26. palmcoaster says:

    The lack of jobs also lead to depression. May God give peace to Timmy and his family!

  27. Anon says:

    shoutout to every person in the comment section who seems to have “the answer” to the sucicide epidemic. You’re all geniuses, I can’t wait to read the work you publish.

  28. Dontlosehopeplease says:

    RIP my friend. Even the mental health counselors are so deranged I really do not see anybody getting better by talking with them. They have their OWN agenda and is not helpful to anyone💩

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