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Salvatore Randazzo, 59, in Apparent Suicide on Esperanto Drive, Prompted by Terminal Illness

| July 23, 2019

The house on Esperanto Drive was also the subject of a court action.

The house on Esperanto Drive was also the subject of a court action.

Salvatore Randazzo, a 59-year-old resident of Esperanto Drive in Palm Coast and a retired New York City corrections officer, died in an apparent suicide on Friday (July 19) from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his home. He had reportedly been battling cancer and given only a few months to live in spring, when he ceased treatment.

A Flagler County Sheriff’s incident report suggests Randazzo had called 911 and was heard saying something about a “self-inflicted gunshot wound” before 911 dispatchers heard what sounded like a gunshot.

Sheriff’s deputies found the front door at 65 Esperanto unlocked, and a suicide note in the house. They found Randazzo in a chair on his back porch, a black handgun at his feet. A Palm Coast paramedic pronounced Salvatore Randazzo dead at 9:36 p.m., and a crime scene was established at the house, as is routine in such circumstances.

Randazzo had left funeral arrangements and vehicle information on the kitchen counter, and power of attorney information and the suicide note, along with additional paperwork, on a dresser in the bedroom. By then a neighbor had already notified Randazzo’s son of the incident.

According to a letter his son wrote Flagler County circuit court on May 21, Randazzo, who’s owned the property on Esperanto since 2008, had been battling cancer, was terminal and was, at the time his son wrote the letter, “in the last few months the doctor gave him to live. He currently and since March has stopped all of his cancer treatment and stopped all of his medications.” His son was under the impression that his gun license had been revoked.

Writing the court, his son described how his father would call him in Connecticut to describe the difficult conditions he’d fallen to because of his illness, his inability to take care of two dogs or care for himself or even go to his radiation appointments or walk. His son and his son’s wife sold two vehicles and left their home in Connecticut to move down to take care of him, for a time living in an RV in Flagler Beach while taking care of him.

It isn’t clear when Randazzo’s son and wife and their 4-year-old son moved into the house at 65 Esperanto. But in mid-April, Randazzo filed an “unlawful detainer” in circuit court against his son and daughter in law, an action they didn’t become aware of until they tried to rent a house in Tampa several weeks later. In the letter, which was prompted by the court action, Randazzo’s son described how they’d had to leave the house on April 1 after Randazzo, who was suffering from depression and memory loss, had become so violent as to wave a gun at his family, saying terribly abusive things to their child, threatening them. The family had to seek shelter at the Family Life Center. Randazzo was briefly Baker Acted.

The letter included a document from the sheriff’s office informing Randazzo’s son that as of April 1, it had been determined that “you may be at risk of violence” from Randazzo, and that the sheriff’s office intended to petition the court for a risk protection order prohibiting Randazzo from having guns in his custody. No such risk protection order appears on the court’s docket.

Randazzo’s would be the 15th suicide in Flagler County this year, continuing a trend that had sent the county’s suicide rate at or near the top among Florida counties and alarming local authorities and social service advocates.

The following resources are available for individuals in crisis:

Flagler Lifeline website.

In Flagler: The Crisis Triage and Treatment Unit (CTTU) is a crisis assessment and referral service for Flagler County residents experiencing behavioral health crisis.  It is located at 301 Justice Lane in the Brown & Brown Outpatient building at the Vince Carter Sanctuary in Bunnell.  This program is limited to individuals escorted to the program by law enforcement between the hours of noon and midnight daily.  Law enforcement is able to transport individuals to SMA to assess and determine the appropriate clinical disposition.  When required and appropriate, SMA then transports the individual to a receiving facility in Volusia County.

In Daytona Beach: Stewart-Marchman Act Corporation Crisis Center
1220 Willis Avenue
Daytona Beach, FL 32114

Crisis Line: (800) 539 – 4228
Available 24 hours.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 800/273-8255 (TALK), or use the online Lifeline Crisis Chat, both available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

People 60 and older can call the Institute on Aging’s 24-hour, toll-free Friendship Line at 800-971-0016. IOA also makes ongoing outreach calls to lonely older adults.

If you are concerned for someone else, read about warning signs here. For additional resources, see the Speaking of Suicide website.

10 Responses for “Salvatore Randazzo, 59, in Apparent Suicide on Esperanto Drive, Prompted by Terminal Illness”

  1. Lou says:

    What other alternative did he have?
    Who are the special interest groups who benefitting from him not putting an early end of his suffering?

  2. Richard says:

    Sad for everyone involved, family and friends. Terminal diseases are the worse to deal with but there is also a hospice service that could have been used plus you can always go to Oregon where assisted suicide is legal. RIP

  3. ASF says:

    This is terribly horribly sad. Someone definitely dropped the ball in this case and now this family has to suffer this awful trauma. I hope they will get all the help and assistance–and legal advice–they deserve and will most certainly need.

  4. Karen says:

    So very sad 😞. I have now lived in palm Coast 16 years and I have heard so many suicides including a young beautiful girl who my children knew across the street from my home. Something has to b done

  5. TR says:

    I agree, will say that suicide is unexpected and unfortunate. On the other hand, I cannot agree that the situation is inherently sad. For others, it may be, but this man will no longer have to battle illness or mental bouts. I’ve seen family friends and family members utilize hospice programs and waste away before my eyes. They slowly lose control of their bodily functions, become so weak that they cannot lift food to their mouths, and lay in bed with their mouths agape, seemingly staring past the ceiling.

    As far as assisted suicide, that process can take a wildly long time. This man went out in his house, on his terms. He did not have to succumb to disease and lose all dignity or independence. Sure, someone had to clean the poor guy up, but that’s it. Over. Just my opinion.

  6. Kathielee says:

    RIP .. This is so sad 😢 . My deepest condolences to his family,and friends . Christopher I’m so sorry .

  7. Stan Gruchawka says:

    So sad. Sal told me that he’d been diagnosed with cancer and he’d lost his mother and a son within a three month time period. A lot to bear for one guy.

  8. Sharon says:

    The Sal I knew was an upbeat guy however, I didn’t know about the cancer. It seems he just gave up. He simply refused further treatment. It’s heartbreaking to say the least.

  9. ClayJemmott says:

    Did He ever spesk about his time as a NYC Correction officer?

  10. Jim and Pat Perretta says:

    So sorry
    He was a wonderful man
    Praying for him and his family.

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