In an apartment building in Detroit, 9-year-old Jarod Barnett plunged to his death in what appears to be a suicide. Michele McRay, a tenant at the low income apartment building was outside when it occurred and told Detroit Free Press reporters that she “heard a thump and then someone moaning.”
Crumpled in a heap just a few yards away was the young boy’s body. She quickly ran inside and called 911.
Barnett had apparently threatened to commit suicide recently and was in trouble with his siblings for a shoplifting. Jarod’s untimely death is the second example of an incredibly young suicide to hit Detroit this year. Less than two months ago, a 7-year old boy hanged himself by his belt after complaining about bullying at school.
“It’s real sad. There’s too many young people doing this,” said bystander Sheila Bowman, 35.
Police were first to arrive at the scene and declared Jarod dead, but surprisingly, no ambulance showed up and the body had to be transported in the back of the squad car. The city has gone through such steep budget cuts that there was not a single ambulance could be spared at the time of Jarod’s death. Michigan State Representative Rashida Tlaib was outraged and told the Free Press, “It’s just unbelievable. Can you imagine the family of that child — not seeing any ambulance come.”
Earlier this month, a father whose 14-year-old son was fatally shot in Southwest Detroit had to drive his son to the hospital because no EMS was available. The area of Detroit where both instances occurred once had five EMS trucks. Today, they have none.
“They have to dispatch one from the east side now,” Tlaib said.”The state needs to request a full investigation of this”.
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