Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies investigated the death by self-inflicted gunshot of Terrance Justin Knapp, 35, in the backyard at 42 Lancelot Drive in Palm Coast Saturday afternoon (Aug. 22). His 14-month-old daughter was in a crib in the house. She was unharmed.
Knapp’s wife was not at the house at the time. She had contacted the sheriff’s office Saturday a few minutes after 3 p.m. to report that her husband had texted her that he loved her, that he was “sick in the head” and that she take care of their daughter. She told dispatchers that he had access to numerous guns, and that he talked that way when he drank. He was not answering his phone.
A second caller, a relative, reached the 911 dispatcher. The caller had access to a live video feed that showed the 14-month-old girl in her crib, safe. Deputies were granted access to the house even if they had to break in the door, though one of the callers provided keypad codes for access.
Three deputies were there in less than four minutes after the initial call, according to 911 dispatch notes. Because Knapp’s whereabouts were not known and because of the known presence of numerous firearms in the house and because, deputies had to proceed with deliberate caution, setting up a perimeter around the house as if it were an active crime scene. Knapp’s wife had told dispatchers that there were guns in the nightstand and a closet. All the while they had real-time reports of the child in the crib. Knapp’s wife arrived at the scene, as did the child’s grandfather, and moments later a deputy found Knapp in the backyard.
Deputies secured the child, taking her out of the house.
The deputies found Knapp on a lawn chair, unresponsive. Flagler County Fire Rescue and Palm Coast Fire Department paramedics arrived, and a paramedic pronounced Justin Knapp’s death at 3:33 p.m.
Deputies then established a crime scene, as is routine in such circumstances, and turned over the scene to crime scene investigators and detectives before the medical examiner claimed the body. The crime scene was dismantled six hours later.
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.
If you are concerned for someone else, read about warning signs here. For additional resources, see the Speaking of Suicide website.
So young, so sad. May he RIP and the almighty embrace and help his family.
They should have sent social workers instead of the police.
I agree, but they should have sent both. Police arrived in under 4 minutes. How long do you think a social worker would have taken to arrive on scene? Further, I don’t think social workers should be subject to gruesome and traumatic scenery. Such somber realism is best left to those who accept risk as an occupation.
For the most part, the social worker should have been sent for the victim’s family to console them and point them in the direction of resources.
Flagler County Sheriff office has a staff of Victim Advocates and volunteers that can respond to tragedies such as this and provide immediate crisis intervention, support and resource information to families. These fine people are trained to help people who need comforting, support and just be there for families.
Allyn Feinstein says
You don’t think Social Workers accept or are exposed to “risk” as a part of their careers? LOL! They deal with mental health problems, drug addiction, domestic violence and child and elder abuse as major part of their jobs. But Social Workers are not substitutes for police and police are not substitutes for Social Workers, just as our jails should not be used as warehouses for the addiction, mental health and other social problems our country refuses to face and more appropriately deal with.
James M. Mejuto says
As a victim of severe depression I understand what Justin Knapp must have gone through and possibly, the alcohol
made it worst.
No one in his right mind wants to go through these troubles, when you have reached the depths of despair and nothing ever is right.
I wonder are there ‘depression’ groups that meet like AA does?
Yes there are. Locally though, I’m not sure. I don’t have the information for you, but you should look it up. I will look it up for you if you can’t.
Allyn Feinstein says
C,mon, people! If you have someone near and dear to you who is suffering from a mental health issue, an addiction issue or both–especially if you have minors in the house–DON’T KNOWINGLY LET THEM HAVE ACCESS TO FIREARMS. This isn’t rocket science. This was a tragedy in the making, probably for a very long time.
Donna carvalho says
Rip Terrance. I didn’t know you but I feel your pain. This year 2020 has been particularly hard for people. I wish you had looked into your child’s eyes hard enough to see how much she needed you., how things would work it self out and maybe you could’ve beat that depression. Prayers for your family
He was loved and hurting. He was never like this when I knew him. He will be loved and missed terribly. You will always be in my heart.
Condolonces to family and friends. May you now find peace.
R.I.P TJ gone but never forgotten
Concerned Citizen says
I am sorry for the families loss. I know how hard it is from first hand experience.
5 years ago with no warning my stepbrother shot himself. There were no outward indications of problems. He had just had dinner the night before with my Mom and Stepdad and seemed fine. They even sat on the porch and told jokes and laughed. The next morning the Sheriff’s Office delivered the notification.
As a survivor of a suicide incident it leaves you racked with guilt. Could you have stopped it? Could you have done more to prevent it? You mull over these things constantly. For me it was devestating. Even with lossing my dad years before to a sudden stroke and having other family members pass it seemed harder to deal with. I had been in the service been overseas and saw things that leave dreams. Coming home I was a Deputy Sheriff for 6 years then a Fire Fighter EMT for 15. Let me tell you we dealt with and saw a lot of crazy stuff. Nothing hits home harder than a suicide in the family.
To those dealing with depression and contemplating suicide. Please please please reach out and get help. Even if it’s to call 911 and tell a dispatcher don’t fight the demons alone. Your end result is permanent while your remaining family and friends will deal with it the rest of their lives. There are folks that will help you. Even if it means having a Law Enforcement presence and getting baker acted. It might mean opening that door with a way out.
This county desperatley needs more mental health resources. Instead of wasting money on bad real estate deals and supporting special interests our leaders need to step up and say we need to and can do more. They know we have a problem. We need to light up those phones and blow up those email accounts. Let the people who are in a position to do something know we demand change.