Harrison County

Man jumps to eventual death at hospital — and a child witnessed it

A man committed suicide at Memorial Hospital at Gulfport by jumping from a fourth-floor balcony onto the floor of a public lobby in the Medical Office Building on Wednesday.
A man committed suicide at Memorial Hospital at Gulfport by jumping from a fourth-floor balcony onto the floor of a public lobby in the Medical Office Building on Wednesday. Memorial Hospital at Gulfport

A Long Beach man jumped from a fourth-floor balcony in a wing of Memorial Hospital at Gulfport last week and landed in a public lobby, where a child about the age of 7, according to police, witnessed it.

The man was 47 years old and there were conflicting reports of whether he had been treated at the hospital before he jumped, but the hospital and police responded immediately to the attempted suicide. Medical personnel at the hospital treated him where he lay and then took the man to the operating room.

Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove said he was notified of the death late Thursday or early Friday and hasn’t had a chance yet to interview the necessary people in order to complete his investigation. He did not give the name of the man but said the man died in the Intensive Care Unit, where he was taken after the operating room.

“The death was delayed in being reported,” he explained on Sunday. “I’ve had to play catchup. I’m just now getting involved.”

The man jumped about 5 p.m. Wednesday from the balcony of the atrium-like lobby in the Memorial Medical Office Building, adjoining the main hospital, officials said.

Gulfport Sgt. Damon McDaniel said he could not confirm whether the hospital had treated him before he jumped, but he did know the man was not in-patient — in a hospital room — at the time.

“He did not escape a room,” McDaniel explained. “For whatever reason, he was there and jumped. We were responding to a suicide.”

Police arrived right away, controlled the scene keeping people back, while the hospital staff worked on the man on the lobby floor. Police took a report, he said, and interviewed any witnesses.

He confirmed that a child about the age of 7 was in the lobby and witnessed it and that police interviewed the child.

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