The assistant principal of Kraemer Middle School in Placentia died by suicide on campus Monday, school officials said.
Around 9 a.m., officers were called to the school in regards to an employee who had shot himself in a locked staff bathroom in the school administration area of the front office, the Placentia Police Department said in a news release.
The employee was found by the school principal.
When officers arrived, the man was already deceased, and the firearm used in the suicide was located in the bathroom.
The deceased employee was identified as Moises Plascencia, according to a statement from Superintendent Jim Elsasser of the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, who called the loss an “unfathomable tragedy.”
Staff members and students were not present nor was the occurrence witnessed by anyone, according to the school district.
Students were sent home and one parent told KTLA that the school was cordoned off with yellow tape.
“Moises was so much more than a respected assistant principal. He was a father, husband, brother, and friend to so many in our school district community,” the superintendent said. “His passing, and the manner in which it occurred, has left us devastated, confused, and heartbroken; however, we ask that you please respect his family’s privacy during this incredibly difficult time.”
A team of mental health professionals will be on campus to support students, staff and families affected by the incident across the district.
“While we may never make sense of or understand why this occurred, we do know that turning to each other during this time for support is essential,” Elsasser wrote. “As the Superintendent, I am struggling to find adequate words to convey the shock and heartbreak we are all feeling right now. Yet I know that we will find a way to come together as a community, care for one another, and get through this trauma together.”
Anyone with information is encouraged to call Placentia Police at 714-993-8146. Anonymous tips can also be submitted to Orange County Crime Stoppers at (855) TIP-OCCS or on their website.
Editor’s note: If you are feeling distressed or concerned for a loved one’s wellbeing, help is available through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. It provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also call a loved one, member of the clergy or 911.
The California Peer-Run Warm Line also offers free support for nonemergency mental health issues, and can be reached at 855-845-7415 and is available 24/7.