UPDATE: Authorities identify man who stabbed himself to death

50-year-old’s mother suspected depression before fatal confrontation

By Paul Suarez, Columbian web producer

Published:

Updated: November 11, 2011, 9:36 PM

 

Authorities on Friday afternoon identified the man who stabbed himself to death in front of sheriff’s deputies in Battle Ground on Wednesday.

The Clark County Medical Examiner said Max A. Berry, 50, died of multiple stab wounds to the chest in a suicide.

Deputies from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office responded to reports of a restraining order violation in progress at 9406 N.E. 219th St. on Wednesday around 10:30 a.m. Berry started stabbing himself in front of the deputies, sheriff’s Cmdr. Mike Cooke said in a bulletin.

The deputies tried to intervene, but Berry’s injuries were severe and he was pronounced dead at the scene, Cooke said.

Detectives with the sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit and Battle Ground Police Department responded to take over the investigation.

Wednesday’s incident wasn’t Berry’s first run-in with law enforcement.

In 2008, at the same address, he allegedly fired a shotgun near a process server who was there to present him legal papers about a debt. He was arrested on suspicion of first-degree assault and, in January 2009, sentenced in Clark County Superior Court to spend 45 days in jail for third-degree assault.

County property records show the house is owned by Berry’s mother, Ruth Berry. Ruth Berry said Friday night that she’d tried to convince him to see a doctor about depression.

“He was a really nice kid,” she said, “but he just got involved in thinking about the past and things that were bad that happened to him. Just little things that bothered him.

“It just made him angry, and it dwelled on his mind. He couldn’t think straight about things.”

She said her son had been a factory worker but recently was collecting disability insurance from a shoulder injury that didn’t heal after surgery.

On the day Max Berry died, she said, “He thought they were going to arrest him. He said he wouldn’t go back to jail.”