Police sources told CBS2 the sergeant was inside his home Tuesday night when it appears he shot himself in the head.READ MORE: Lionel Virgile Accused Of Throwing Bleach In Officer's Face, Tossing Lit Molotov Cocktail At Other Officers In Brooklyn
First responders rushed to the scene in Hillcrest and took the sergeant to a nearby hospital, but the veteran policeman could not be saved.
Sources told CBS2 the sergeant’s wife was home at the time of the apparent suicide.
The tragedy marks the 10th active-duty NYPD officer to take their own life this year. Including retired officers, it marks the 12th self-inflicted death in 2019.
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“It is a mental health crisis in the NYPD,” he said. “We’ve had nine suicides so far this year. Prior to that, we average four to five per year for the last five years.”
We’ve now lost ten members of the NYPD to suicide this year.READ MORE: Producer Scott Rudin Will 'Step Back' From Broadway Duties After Allegations Of Abusive Behavior
We’ll stop at nothing to end this crisis. If you or someone you know needs help, please reach out. Your city is here for you.
Please keep this good man, his family and the NYPD in your hearts today. pic.twitter.com/gw4E3NCMhS
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) October 16, 2019
CBS2’s Jessica Moore asked O’Neill what his personal message would be to an officer who is struggling.
“Take that step. Come forward. Confide in your partner. Confide in a friend. Confide in your family. Get help,” he said.
The NYPD has listed the following resources for officers in need of help.
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- Employee Assistance Unit: 646-610-6730
- Chaplains Unit: 212-473-2363
- POPPA (independent from the NYPD): 888-267-7267
- NYC WELL: Text, call, & chat www.nyc.gov/nycwell
- Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255)
- Crisis Text Line: Law enforcement officers can text BLUE to 741741 (non-law enforcement can text TALK to 741741)
- Call 911 for emergencies