Self-inflicted Gunshot Cause of Alderpoint Man’s Death

In the past, law enforcement and most news media have not posted information about suicides. Today, the Humboldt County Coroner has released information. It is Redheaded Blackbelt’s belief that bringing attention to suicide will help us address depression and its affects. According to one study, suicide is the third cause of premature deaths in the County.

Press release about the tragic death of Darrol Raven is provided by the Humboldt County Coroner:

hcsoOn 05-21-2015 at about 3:20 PM Sheriff Deputies were dispatched to 162 6th Street, Alderpoint, regarding a reported gunshot victim.

Upon arrival Deputies located a deceased adult male with a single gunshot wound to the head. Further investigation determined that the fatal injury was self-inflicted.

The deceased person was identified as Darrol Courtney Raven, age 43, of Alderpoint.

  • Laytonville Rock


  • County Mental Health is having a series of suicide prevention workshops. In SoHum there is one happening next Tuesday at the Family Resource Center in Redway (which is at the edge of Redway Elementary). I will be attending, and there was encouragement to preregister, but if you are interested you might contact Matt Cone at 441-5564 or These are the QPR workshops (question, persuade, refer) and said to be useful for anyone who is likely to be interacting with people who are suicidal. (which–the interaction with stuff) is the whole community, isn’t it?

  • About twenty-five years ago, I met a gorgeous, apple-cheeked teen by this name. We were on the ferry from Port Hardy BC to Skidegate BC. He was half-Haida, hence the last name, and he was going to visit family in Massett. I hope it wasn’t the same person. But the name and the age fit.

    I mean, this is terrible news in any event, but the unforgettable bright energy of that youngster and the thought that this might be him is crushing. Crushing.

  • shelly fitzgerald

    Thank You for taking this stance Kym, it’s a very important issue and i’m glad to see someone bringing attention to it…

  • this was my neighbor and from the description it wouldn’t be him also he never traveled far from Humboldt.

    May he finally rest in peace.

    • Thank you for piping up. I’ve had the blues since reading this earlier, with visions of that kid and remembering how wonderful I thought he was. It’s still heartbreaking to think of someone in so much pain he decided to take himself out that way, and I imagine this Raven was once a happy and optimistic young man, but… still… at least I can still think of my Raven out there somewhere living up to his own heart.

      I’m sorry for your loss, and, yes, may he rest in peace.

  • Kym, I too thank you for bringing this subject out to the light. (and Local, and all those who knew this man–I’m so sorry). We need to talk about suicide, about what to do if you are close to someone who is suicidal, about what to do for yourself if you have that impulse or that temptation, and about how very common mental illness (acute or long term) is. There are many in our community who deal every day with either the loss of a beloved one from such an illness, or with the deep struggle in their own mind. We need people to know they are not alone, and that there are solutions, no matter how desperate or deep the pain.

  • sohumbornsghost

    It is a tragic heartbreaking way to lose someone.
    You can’t let go of the thought that someone you love hurts so bad that they have chosen to create a hole in the lives of everyone around them that sucks the joy out of what’s left of their lives.
    You never believe that you didn’t somehow fail them.
    You feel tremendous guilt that you didn’t see or understand the depth of their pain.
    You “what if” every single day.
    Then if something joyful does occur you mourn that they missed it.
    You cry when people mention your loss. You cry when they don’t .
    Your broken into smaller and smaller pieces when you think about the pain this loss brought to each and every life touched by your beloved.
    The pain that brings a person to that final unchangable decision should shine brighter than any light and call us all to help them find their way back, but it to often hides behind beautiful smiles faked for what they believe to be the benefit of those who love them the most.
    Tell every you love that you love them every time you talk to them. At least you won’t wonder if they really knew.
    I say it a lot.
    I have a lot of love for people and I know I have a hard time showing it, but I don’t have a hard time saying it anymore.
    And if anyone is reading this and thinking that the world would be better off without them, or that there is no possible way their pain will end without their life ending.
    Everything changes. There is nothing that will always be, so whatever you are going through… It’s called going through because there is another side. It was dark in the womb and eventually you were freed into something you could never have imagined.
    Talk to someone, anyone, tell them you don’t want to be here anymore. Then listen to anyone but you.

  • I’m a little shocked and disappointed to see both LoCO and you, Kym posting the details of this man’s suicide. The coroner should not be publicizing details of suicides and the news media should show some respect and restraint. It’s not the public’s business unless associated with a crime or somehow affects the public in a direct way.

    If you want to bring awareness to the public about suicide that’s fine and a public service, but I can tell you from personal experience of my father’s suicide 20 years ago if you had done what you just did to my family it would have been extremely cruel and traumatic, especially to my mother who had just lost her husband of 57 years. Suicide is still a stigma and shameful for many people. A family’s privacy was invaded in what could be a very dark hour of their lives.

    How would you feel if it was the details of your immediate family member’s death being spread in public for all to read and pass judgment on?

    • Uti, I’m sorry you feel this way. But I think the only way to make the stigma go away is to address the subject. Hiding it makes it more shameful. You, of course, have had personal experience with the pain of this situation and I respect your opinion. I will rethink my position again. But, it isn’t like people don’t know the suicide happened. Immediately, people started talking. But without a solid source to go to they only get rumors. People had been calling and messaging me since this happened wanting more information. Of course, they don’t want to call someone wounded with this and hurt them more but they want to know. (Next time they see their neighbor in the story do they offer condolences or was rumor wrong and it was someone else who died? Facts help them sort out appropriate responses.)

      Suicide is not something that should be shameful. It is something that needs to be understood. The victims, both those considering suicide and those whose lives have been shattered when a love one commits suicide, need help–help they mostly don’t get. In part I think because suicide does have a stigma. I believe, though I’ll spend some time soul searching on this again, that part of removing the stigma is speaking about what happens not hiding it like it is shameful.

      • It’s the publication of details of the suicide itself I object to strongly—they serve no good purpose. They’re unnecessary to having a public discussion about the societal effects of suicide (like the stigma, shame or judgment), or discussing suicide prevention, or expressing condolences to the families of the dead, or simply letting the neighbors know one of them has passed.

        Don’t take away the immediate family’s choice on what details to share with their neighbors.

        Maybe I’m overly sensitive to the suicide issue in our society that has been desensitized to death via our entertainment media, which is nothing like the real thing, but especially the desensitization of our children who experience violent video games and movies.

        So when I see a news report with the details that the man died from a self-inflicted gunshot to the head I know exactly what that looks like in 3 dimensions, what it smells and feels like viscerally from my 3 years as a young naive newspaper photographer. The suicide call outs were the worst. I can’t un-see those things.

        My recommendation if anyone want to remove the shame and stigma of suicide for those left behind is to go beyond having a need to know the details of the death, or expressing your sorrow and offering sympathy—practice empathy before opening your mouth. Make it about feeling the pain and loss they feel before you act.

    • Uti,[edit] .
      Fool blows off his head, we have a right to know, especially if we hear the gun shot
      Besides dark business and deeds need to get light shed on them so they can be exposed and dealt with. As a healthy society does, [edit]

      Sure it’s sad but folks that knew this man now have a chance to assess their own situation and strange off grid life they live! Why you getting bent over a bit of light

  • Darrol was my brothers best friend. He is devastated by the news. I remember Darrol growing up being out going and fun to be around. Such a tragedy

  • Cerebrial Misfirings.

    There’s a war photographer documenting the places in which veterans’ suicides take place. Some of the photos are making it to a billboard campaign to bring light to the fact that 22 vets kill themselves PER DAY in the US. Billboards can heal too, I guess. The families have been by and large grateful he’s undertaken this project. 22 per day. Imagine. My brother took his life a couple of decades ago. At the time I was so devastated I wouldn’t have cared if Kym ran a story or not. I may have welcomed it on the grounds that it may stop someone else from going through this:(

  • I wonder sometimes if one can experience one’s full humanity without ever having been in the suicide zone and come out alive. The rub, of course, is the coming out alive part, and being as how I believe each of us has the absolute right to our own body, there’s no decent way to settle this once and for all, but being open about it is certainly the best way to help mitigate losses.

    We don’t seem to have any problem indoctrinating our kids with all manner of cultural conveniences and outright mistakes. That actually turns out to be a huge problem for most people… not being able to overcome conditioned ideas and responses. So I think it would be optimal to condition our kids with the idea that there is beauty in life after killing pain, that even strangers will hurt over the loss of them, that you don’t live to taste the sweet revenge you might’ve been seeking, that it is your decision but this is one area where haste and/or determination can amount to outright evil, that what you perceive to be your limit is not actually your limit at all.

    I don’t think we should wait until any older than sixth grade, at the latest, because hormones that help bump one into the suicide zone start kicking in right about then… many even earlier these days… and if at some point in the future they find themselves in these straits, they will be more apt to remember what they were taught and hold on through it.

  • If you live around here and suffer from mental illness, it’s most likely advanced Lymes disease from a tick co-infection. Get treated for it before it ruins and or takes your life.

  • Holy kitty katz! That comment about Lyme disease was a little scary, as I’ve had it and anaplasmosis (similar to Lyme) several times – get bit by ticks every year. Dose myself with doxycycline every year too….and of course as I’ve come into a particularly rocky part of my life, have definitely considered the drastic end discussed here. Just don’t respond well to stress and aging (sigh) Thanks for the info on the workshops – y’know? I just might check them out!
    The only thing that holds me here I suppose is having seen the effects it has on friends, family, even strangers…Not A Good Thing . Hanging in there……..cheers/

    • Thank you for hanging in. Old age is not for wimps, that’s flat, but I know a guy who’s an ace at natural remedies for things like lyme, and for CERTAIN antibiotics are VERY bad for one’s mental state, and most especially when we get older. Let me know if you want me to get you some tips from my friend, but be SURE to nuke yourself with probiotics as a way of life from here on out. It could even be that the toxins from the dying bacteria are what makes the disease so bad. I don’t know, but I suspect it and probiotics actually pump vitamins into you when they die off. If you can keep the probiotic load high enough it can keep the depression and illness low enough to give you a good shot at a good quality of life. xoxoxox

  • People had been calling and messaging me since this happened wanting more information.

    they could wait awhile…
    for the info….
    oh, not in THIS digital, on demand world?

    two cents

    • When someone dies in a small community, until you know who it is there is a sense of ticking time bomb. People worry that it will be someone that they care deeply about. Several people mentioned that they had someone they specifically feared it might be.

      Giving people concrete answers is what I do. I don’t know how many times I’ve dealt with people getting rumors of a murder and I individually have answered that the situation was a suicide but there must have hundreds of others who didn’t ask who were left with the idea that a murder occurred. I don’t think that is healthy. I think a simple acknowledgement of who, what, where and when helps everyone. (Uti, I’m sorry. I know you have a more direct sense of the pain of the family and I acknowledge that I don’t have nuclear family that have committed suicide although a dear cousin did but I have had family members murdered and imprisoned and frankly, its a relief for me not to have to individually tell their story over and over and relive the grief.)

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