[Editor's note: This story discusses suicide. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).]
A veteran officer with the New York Police Department was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound Wednesday, becoming the ninth officer this year to commit suicide.
The 56-year-old officer, who worked for the department for more than 20 years, shot himself at his home in Laurelton, Queens, shortly after 6 p.m., police said.
The officer was rushed to Long Island Jewish Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
His death came just one day after an officer from nearby Yonkers killed himself.
The NYPD said, "We are saddened to announce that the NYPD has suffered another tragedy today with the loss of one of our officers to suicide." The police department also urged officers to seek help for mental illness or depression.
"To anyone who may be struggling, know that there is support available," the NYPD tweeted. "Behind each of these resources are people that care about your well-being."
In the early hours of Tuesday morning, an off-duty officer who had been on the job for seven years with the Yonkers Police Department committed suicide at his home. Yonkers is a city of 200,000 residents, in Westchester County, just north of New York City.
Over 47,000 suicides were reported in the U.S. in 2017, or 14 per 100,000 people — the highest rate in at least half a century.
In 2018, at least 159 officers died by suicide, 9 percent more than the total number of officers killed in the line of duty, according to Blue H.E.L.P., a nonprofit run by active and retired police officers.
New York City had one of the highest rates of officer suicides among major U.S. cities, with 10 officers reported dead as of Jan. 1, 2019.