David Suetta, a junior at Battle Ground High School, committed suicide with a self-inflicted gunshot, Clark County Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Kevin Allais confirmed Friday.
David’s body was found shortly after 9 a.m. Thursday near Yale Bridge, in the Chelatchie Prairie area in a far-north area of the county, deputies said. The sheriff’s Major Crime Unit investigated.
An autopsy performed Friday by Dr. Dennis Wickham, the county medical examiner, confirmed that manner and cause of death, an official said.
Students were informed Thursday. About two dozen counselors were available Thursday and Friday, the school district’s communications director, Gregg Herrington, said in a bulletin. Many students came for counseling.
“Lots of our kids are needing help today,” an employee with the counseling office said.
The counselors are with SMART, the countywide School Mobilization Assistance Response Team, and work at several schools and social agencies, Herrington said.
David was a popular student and a member of the school’s Reserve Officer Training Corps.; he’d planned to be a paratrooper with the U.S. Air Force, the bulletin said.
David’s mother, Tami Suetta, said he had two motorcycles and had raced in motocross, and enjoyed fishing and hunting with his father, Ron Suetta.
He earned the nickname “Cowboy” because he wore a cowboy hat and boots, and also enjoyed bull riding, his mother said.
“He loved all his friends and family” and especially liked playing with his niece, Meadow, 2., Tami Suetta said in the bulletin. “He could converse with adults one minute and get down and play with Meadow the next.”
The bulletin said David had two adult sisters, Shawna Suetta and Jennie Bryant, and a brother, Hunter, who attends Amboy Middle School. Plans for a service are pending.
On Thursday, Principal Tim Lexow sent home with students a document explaining how students might deal with an unexpected death, and saying parents should stay close to them.
Parents and students are invited to call the county’s Crisis Hotline at 360-696-9560. The school’s number to speak with counselors is 360-885-6556; administrators are available at 360-885-6550.
John Branton: 360-735-4513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.