Last Updated: 4:44 p.m.
A man took his own life by gunshot in a car on State Road 100’s westbound lanes, in front of the Mobil station and convenience store, just before the intersection with I-95 in Palm Coast at dawn Tuesday. The scene was still being investigated well into the morning.
The Sheriff’s Office this afternoon identified the man as Michael Bryce Curtis, 36, of Palatka, who appears to have been staying with his 39-year-old girlfriend at a house on Point of Woods Drive in Palm Coast.
The westbound lanes were initially closed to traffic around 5 to 6 a.m. One lane opened as rush-hour traffic got under way, with the vehicle involved partially hidden from view by sheriff’s vehicles and the Crime Scene Investigation van.
At 4:40 a.m. the Flagler County 911 dispatch center got information that a man had written a letter to his girlfriend, threatening suicide.
Mark Strobridge, a Flagler County Sheriff’s spokesman, said deputies responded. They had information about the vehicle the man may have been driving.
“We observed him driving a car, we then tried to get him to stop,” Strobridge said.”We did follow him down the road, there’s no doubt about that.” It wasn’t yet clear, however, where deputies began following, and if at that point deputies had initiated a pursuit or were merely following the man in an attempt to carry out a traffic stop. But deputies were responding to what was perceived as “a very dangerous position for the community to be in, to have somebody there with a gun,” Strobridge said.
Curtis stopped in front of the Mobil convenience store. The vehicle this morning looked as if it had pulled over onto the shoulder. The details of what happened next are unclear, Strobridge said, but at some point the car was flood-lit with deputies’ lights. There was no response from Curtis in the car.
The crisis-negotiating team was “rolling to respond” as the issue was unfolding by the side of the road, Strobridge said. “As far as I know, nobody saw anything like a muzzle flash, but that’s not 100 percent because they’re still interviewing,” Strobridge said of investigators. “The only thing I know for sure is that we did not fire any weapons.”
A case report the Sheriff’s Office issued later this afternoon indicates that a sheriff’s deputy was first alerted to what may have been a Baker Act, at 4:45 a.m., at a location on Point of Woods Drive: At around 4:40 a.m., Curtis himself called 911, telling dispatchers he was worried that his girlfriend at a house on Point of Woods may have taken a lethal dose of medication in an attempt to end her life. Curtis spoke fast and was difficult to understand, and he would not answer dispatchers’ questions. But, the report states, he also threatened to kill himself if deputies could not find his girlfriend.
When the deputy made contact with his girlfriend on Point of Woods, she appeared to be fine, confused about what was taking place, and not at all meeting the criteria for a Baker Act. The deputy moved on to asking her about Curtis. While speaking with her, a note was found on the front door with a silver, spent shell casing for a .380 caliber bullet taped to it. The note read that if Curtis did not hear from his girlfriend, he would kill himself before sunrise. The note read: “gun works.”
The couple had been in a verbal argument the previous evening. No threats were spoken. All Curtis had told his girlfriend before leaving, she told deputies, was that he was driving to the beach. His girlfriend, the report states, “could not provide much information on the incident or on Curtis and she appeared to be withholding information,” insisting that she was tired and wanted to go back to bed. She said that as Curtis was leaving the house, she’d heard “what sounded like a gunshot outside the front door,” according to the report. She would not provide a written statement.
But the 911 dispatch center was able to get Curtis back on the phone. He told a dispatcher he was on his way back to Point of Woods Drive, but that he would not stop if he did not see his girlfriend outside. Deputies convinced her to text him and tell him she was ok. He did not acknowledge the text.
Deputies then observed a blue Toyota Camry on Old Kings Road, approaching the intersection with State Road 100. They confirmed that it was Curtis’s vehicle. The shooting took place shortly after that.
The stretch of State Road 100 where the shooting took place was an active investigation scene =for several hours as the Palm Coast Fire Police regulated traffic around it. It had been cleared before noon.
Just the truth says
Too many guns, too many suicides.
Very SAD! To have one think so less of themselves that living no more is the only way out. Way too many suicides in Palm Coast/Flagler Beach area that one might think it may have to do with the amount of illegal drugs available OR lack of suicide prevention and intervention professionals.
There’s are other methods of suicide. Less guns doesn’t fix tat problem.
No muzzle flash when gun is in your mouth.
Too many depressed people, without any hope or peace in their life. Sad.
Once again people will blame guns.true, too many suicides but you can commit suicide with a pencil if you really want to.
Stanley Wolak says
Suicide is a very sad thing and it sounded like this was planned.If it,s going to happen,better to take your own life than take more people with you.SAD!!!
How does too many guns have anything to do with suicide?
didnt realize the gun committed suicide….
Ken Dodge says
@Just the truth appears to be responding to “. . . “a very dangerous position for the community to be in, to have somebody there with a gun,” attributed to Mark Strobridge, a Flagler County Sheriff’s spokesman. Strobridge should know that there are many, many ‘somebodies’ here with guns. I believe that Flagler County is much safer because (not in spite) of widespread gun ownership. Perhaps he will be given the opportunity to clarify his remark.
I guess if the logic were guns commit suicides, then I’d like to see all of the hard core felons in this country give their guns a chance at committing suicide against them.
If one is he’ll bent on killing themself and they don’t have a gun they will find a way with or without a gun.
Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem… I find it troublesome when people try and equate mental healthe problems with guns! Guns ared only a problem to those who do not have any. Look at the statistics on the cities with the toughest gun laws “Chicago”
So very sad!
As tragic as it is, I’m glad he only took his own life. I have always believed when someone is in the mindset of suicide that they probably are not that far from having potential of comitting homicide.
We need better mental health care! How many more will be this desperate until something is done?!?
Again? When is this County going to educate people on what to do when faced with this situation. I have gone through it recently with a loved one and they are now getting the help they deserve. When someone throws got the suicide word act accordingly. Ignoring it and wanting to go back to bed is not the answer. No matter how much grief this person causes, it is a life worth trying to save. Sadly, she will have to live with this guilt fir the rest of her life.
Help all says
Tai you would rather someone take their own life than ask for help? Would you rather a relative take their own life than ask you for help? Being glad someone took their own life is sick.
Tragic. This could have been avoided.i think they’re is more to this than what we are reading….. His girlfriend didn’t seem to care by telling the police she was tired and wanted to go to sleep. Wtf.
Flagler County brings out the best in people and the best people are in Flagler County….just sayin. What is the numbers of sucide’s in surrounding counties of comparable size? This story sounds a little fishy….and it is ironic that the police instantly jump up and say “it wasn’t me”. Will we ever know the truth? Not likely. Who drives around with spent shell casings in their vehicle with notes taped to them??? My thoughts and prayers go out to this man’s family and friends as they deal with this sad situation.
Bill harvey says
Too many guns, that’s stupid if you are determine to commit suicide you are going to find other ways if you do not have a gun eg: jumping off a bridge, OD on pills or gas’s yourself with your car inside your garage or hang yourself inside of your garage like my neighbor did
Pretty common in depression from rejection. Most of us make it through it probably several times in life.
You people are crazy says
Throwing money at a problem wont fix it. Drug addict that are court ordered to a 6 month drug program will be released and start using again 99% of the time. Same with domestic violence…anger management doesnt help either. People have to fix their own problems.
Donna M Carvalho says
I agree.maybe a place to walk in to talk,etc.
@ “Jc says:
January 9, 2018 at 4:52 pm
We need better mental health care! How many more will be this desperate until something is done?!?””
More/better care may be needed BUT how do you/we FORCE one to get such help??
Ken Dodge says
President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday directing the Department of Veterans Affairs to boost the availability of mental health services to transitioning vets in an effort to cut the suicide rate.
At a White House signing ceremony, Trump said the order includes “concrete actions we must take to ensure every single veteran who needs mental health and suicide prevention services will receive them immediately upon the separation from military service.”
Shame on you all says
SHAME ON YOU ALL. Gossip about another mans death like it’s the comics in the Sunday paper. Some people in this world are in able to heal. I don’t condone suiced myself. But not one of you know what went one behind closed doors in this mans death. So all you judgementle a$# holds your day will come trust in me. Never even knew the guy and you knock him down after his death. He tried to help himself he tried to heal there were people, his family by his side. At the end of the day it was up to him to help himself and he knew he just wasn’t strong enough. Sometimes just sometimes that’s the case. None should judge. I feel sorry for all of those who have.
-one upset and pissed off nephew
Curious B says
Can the FCSO explain why his tires are flat?
Trailer Bob says
To Shame on You All. I understand your anger well, as my nephew (live with us since age 15) hung himself a year ago. This same paper had many cruel comments about him, as well as the paper itself describing the suicide scene and comments about his ropes and his dog getting into the garbage while he was hanging from a tree. I understand, but image if you will, the public is just commenting via their feelings, and they were not personally involved with this mans life. Probably, if this wasn’t your cousin you would not feel the same on some of the comments here. I understand your pain and I understand you will be asking questions for some time. My cousin could have lived, but the many cries for help from him and my wife and I were ignored by police. He could be lying in the road, in a puddle of water and unable to stand…but as long as he could answer a couple of easy questions the police and ambulance would do nothing. I am sorry for you loss. The pain will ease. Celebrate his life and hope he is a peace now. RIP.
the heart of man is desperately wicked who can know it. jer17-9
jesus christ is mans only hope for eternal life
or hell awaits them. john14-6 repent folks
hell is real majority are going there matthew 7-11-13
Involuntary Baker Act is often the only resort. Go to the Courthouse and file if you feel someone is in need and won’t help themself. It’s a real eye opener for the person on the other end. They need constant monitoring by their love one’s and support. This just might save someone’s life.
I knew him and his children. I am in total shock right now.
I’m sorry for the families loss. I worked with him sometimes. Real nice guy.
This was a good man! A professional man. A kind and gentle soul.
He mattered to me.
they should look into this
“she appeared to be withholding information”
“She would not provide a written statement.”
I worked with him and there was not a single person who didn’t love “down under” from Aussie. He will be surely missed and we are praying for his children.