Thomas Walter Brown Jr., a 59-year-old resident of Jacksonville, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound fired as he stood by the railing along the Haw Creek bridge on County Road 305 Monday evening, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office reports.
A Palm Coast couple had been driving in the area, looking for property to buy at the time of the incident, which took place around 6 p.m. About 20 minutes earlier they’d been driving south on CR 305. The roadway was empty. They then turned around and drove back north. They passed a gray Ford Focus that had been parked by the side of the road. Its hood was up, indicating a motorist in distress. The vehicle was parked on the north bound side of County Road 305.
They then noticed Brown about 30 yards north of the vehicle and across the road, on the other side of the guard rail. The husband turned around and went to check on the man as his wife called 911. The husband quickly realized what had taken place, and waited for deputies and paramedics to get to the scene. A Flagler County Fire Rescue paramedic pronounced Thomas Brown dead at 6:03 p.m.
The Ford Focus had been registered to him. He had left his wallet and keys on the railing. Though the car’s hood was up, it started immediately when authorities turned the ignition, suggesting that there’d been nothing wrong with the car.
Detectives responded to the scene and investigated, as is routine in such situations. The investigation is ongoing. The medical examiner removed the body for an autopsy in Jacksonville. The pistol was recovered and turned over to a crime scene investigator, and the vehicle towed by a local towing company.
There was no note. Detectives have not determined why Brown traveled from Jacksonville to take his life in Flagler. In conversations with members of his family, they learned that he had bouts of depression and struggles with alcohol in the past.
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.