Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ground Zero Vet News: Tehama County deputy coroner an apparent suicide

Tehama County deputy coroner an apparent suicide

A Tehama County coroner’s deputy, who was called to Ground Zero to help identify bodies in the rubble from the 9-11 terrorist attacks, was found dead in his home Wednesday night after SWAT team members responded to a report of a shot fired.

Kurt Lampe was found dead from what Sheriff Clay Parker believes was a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Parker said today.

Parker initially declined to discuss the case, and agreed to release information to the Record Searchlight only when editors cited the California Public Records Act.

Parker said Lampe is a 15-year veteran of the corner’s office.

Parker said the suicide followed a domestic disturbance report late last week by Lampe’s girlfriend.

Deputies went to his house at the time, but she was gone, Parker said.

Lampe told deputies that nothing much had happened, Parker said.

On Monday, deputies interviewed the girlfriend who said there was a potentially abusive situation, Parker said.

Lampe was placed on administrative leave, and the woman was granted an emergency temporary restraining order that evening, Parker said.

Lampe allegedly violated that order twice, when he made two calls to the woman on Tuesday and Wednesday, Parker said.

While Lampe had her on the phone the second time, she heard a shot fired, Parker said.

The SWAT Team tried unsuccessfully to reach Lampe on the phone, then went to his house, where they waited outside for several hours, Parker said. He said Lampe was dead when they entered the house.

Parker said he believes the gun blast heard over the telephone was the fatal shot.

Lampe and fellow deputy coroner Chris Sharp took four trips and spent more than nine weeks at Ground Zero in the year that followed the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001, as part of a nationwide federal Disaster Mortuary Operational Rescue Team.

“We weren’t unprepared for this,” Lampe said in an interview with the Record Searchlight commemorating the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

He said seeing the enormity of World Trade Center rubble was something that would stay with him for the rest of his life.

“I stood there looking at that and I just couldn’t believe it. It was so massive,” Lampe said. “You can’t begin to take in the scope of the size of it.”

Before moving the Tehama County, Lampe and Sharp were morticians at the Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier, Lampe for 14 years and Sharp for three.

Source; Redding.com Record Searchlight - Link

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