Police investigate apparent suicide at Bainbridge park

Bainbridge Island police said a Bainbridge Island man shot himself with a rifle at John Nelson Park at Strawberry Cannery Cove late Monday.

The man, an island resident in his 60s, was found dead after police responded to a 911 call shortly after 5:30 p.m. June 16. He was not identified.

Bainbridge Island Police Chief Matthew Hamner said two young people were walking through the park and saw the man and became worried.

"Some of the things they saw him doing made them concerned for his safety," Hamner said. Hamner would not elaborate on what the man was doing.

The couple heard a gun as they left the area, Hamner said.

"They heard a gunshot. They didn't go back, they immediately called 911," he said.

The park was closed down for several hours as police investigated. The county coroner's office took custody of the body and will determine the cause of death, Hamner said.

The investigation is continuing.

"It's now in the hands of the coroner," Hamner said. "They will give an official ruling and a cause of death."

The chief said it appeared the man died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

"We believe it to be an apparent suicide. We don't draw the final conclusion; that's left to the coroner's office," Hamner added.

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