Howard Minami, a 56-year-old Palm Coast resident who for years owned a garage door company that bore his name, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his home at 35 Fairways Circle Saturday morning, according to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies and Flagler County Fire Rescue personnel responded to the property between 8 and 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 11 Minami’s ex-wife–they had divorced in 2013 but started a relationship again–told deputies Minami had been trying to overcome a “pill addiction” and been released from a rehabilitation facility mere weeks ago. He’d struggled with drugs and controlled substances for many years.
Recently, his wife told deputies, he started taking Vivitrol, a medication that according to his ex-wife made him feel “weird”enough that she thought it necessary to take his gun from him and hide it under the couple’s bed.
The medication, also known as naltrexone, is used to treat alcohol abuse in people who have stopped drinking for some time but need it to inhibit the craving, according to WebMD, which notes: “This medication is also used to prevent relapse to opioid abuse, after opioid detoxification. It works by blocking the action of opioids.” The list of side effects is long, but the site notes that the medication is prescribed because a physician “has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects.”
A day earlier, Minami–who had gone through a foreclosure a few years earlier–received an eviction letter that upset and frustrated him, his ex-wife told authorities. She said she went to her bedroom shortly after midnight. Minami was watching television and brooding about the eviction letter. The couple’s 24-year-old son was also home, but had gone to sleep in his bedroom. He too had heard his father complaining about the eviction letter.
(In fact, the 24 year old, Daniel Minami, had been in a protracted altercation that day and evening with his wife, causing Howard to intervene to cool him off, according to Daniel’s arrest report: he was arrested on two domestic violence charges in the course of the deputies’ suicide investigation, his third such arrest in the last year and a half. His wife, who had sought Howard’s help during the confrontation at the house, told deputies Howard was acting “weird.”)
Another ex-husband who had been in contact with Minami told authorities that Minami had mentioned wanting to shoot himself a couple of days earlier, but the man talked him down.
The scene was briefly a crime scene as authorities went through their normal steps, including detectives, crime scene investigators and the medical examiner, who removed the body for an autopsy in St. Augustine.
The following resources are available for individuals in crisis:
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.