Airman commits suicide at Lincoln Memorial Plaza in D.C


Julia Marnin

McClatchy Washington Bureau

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline “provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones” at 1-800-273-8255.

The Veterans Crisis Lifeline to reach “caring, qualified responders with the Department of Veterans Affairs” can be accessed here.

An Air Force airman died in an “apparent suicide” near the Lincoln Memorial Plaza in Washington, D.C., officials said.

Tech. Sgt. Kenneth Santiago, a 31-year-old who was assigned to the 89th Airlift Wing, was found wounded by U.S. Park Police the evening of Nov. 8 and was airlifted to George Washington University Hospital, the Air Force said in a news release provided to McClatchy News.

Santiago, a flight attendant assigned to the 1st Airlift Squadron, was pronounced dead after 1 a.m. on Nov. 9 by hospital staff.

“We ask for all to respect his family members and friends’ privacy and express our deepest sympathies to them as they endure through Santiago’s tragic loss,” U.S. Air Force Col. Matthew Jones, the 89th Airlift Wing commander, said.

He died after a “self-inflicted gunshot wound,” and his death is being investigated, D.C. Metropolitan Police told McClatchy News in an emailed statement.

Police said Santiago was from Southeast D.C. and declined to provide further information.

At the time of the incident, witnesses were in the area and one said Santiago was wearing a green shirt with an American flag on it, The Washington Post reported.

Witnesses said Santiago was discovered on the steps by the Reflecting Pool, directly in front of the Lincoln Memorial, the outlet reported.

U.S. Park Police declined a request for comment by McClatchy News.

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