Family, friends remember man police say took his own life

Patrick Gilmer-Keeney / Photo provided by Gilmer's family to WCTV.
Patrick Gilmer-Keeney / Photo provided by Gilmer's family to WCTV.(WCTV)
Published: Jun. 30, 2016 at 6:35 AM EDT
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By: Lanetra Bennett

July 1, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Authorities are waiting on the autopsy results for the Tallahassee man they say shot himself in front of officers.

Friends of Patrick Gilmer-Keeney say they're still in shock. They describe him as a friendly person.

The 36-year-old died early Thursday morning.

TPD says his wife called 911 because he was threatening suicide. Police say Gilmer-Keeney was on the front lawn with a gun when officers arrived at their home on 8th Avenue.

One of Gilmer-Keeney's friends, Carla Reid, said, "Pat was one of the kindest, gentlest people I ever met. He always had time for other people. He was incredibly witty. His wit got many a person through a crisis. He was a devoted father and a devoted husband."

TPD says two shots were fired. One was fired by Officer Doug Kutchera and one was fired by Gilmer-Keeney. Police believe Patrick died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The autopsy is expected within days.

Another friend of Gilmer-Keeney, Amber Starling, said, "Pat was the foundation of many friend groups; accommodating, patient, and kind. Pat was gifted with an endearing wit and an easy manner. He was quick to laugh and quick to make someone else laugh. He will be sorely missed."

By: Lanetra Bennett

June 30, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Those who live in the area of the shooting react to what happened.

Amy Raker says she had no idea anything was happening just down the street from her. It wasn't until she woke up Thursday morning and saw crime tape and all of the police cars filling 8th Avenue.

Raker said, "You always hear about it on the news--every other street, every other part of the town. But, when it's literally right there at your house, is shakes you up a little bit."

Area resident Steve Johnson, said, "I just didn't think it'd happen this this close to my house. I mean, I have a two-year-old."

Neighbors say Patrick Gilmer Keeney and his wife also had a young child.

It breaks area residents' hearts to hear that officers say Gilmer Keeney was suicidal, and that he shot and killed himself in his front yard after engaging with police officers on scene.

By: WCTV Eyewitness News

June 30, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Tallahassee police say that a man involved in a disturbance near Levy Park early Thursday morning died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Police identified him as 36-year-old Patrick Gilmer-Keeney.

Police say his wife called 911 just before 5 a.m. saying Gilmer-Keeney was outside with a gun, threatening suicide.

TPD spokesman David Northway said that two officers responded and two shots were fired. One was fired by Officer Doug Kutchera and one was fired by Gilmer-Keeney, Northway said.

Police believe Gilmer-Keeney died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

TPD says the bullet from the officer's gun was recovered from an object and was not believed to have struck or injured Gilmer-Keeney.

"Our preliminary findings at this point is that Officer Kutchera was not responsible for the injuries to the male. It is our belief that the male took his own life with a self-inflicted gunshot wound," Deputy Chief Darrell Furseth said.

"We recovered the bullet from the officer who shot his weapon, which is Officer Kutchera, and that in no way do we believe that was able to injure or could have injured Mr. Keeney," TPD Spokesman David Northway said.

"Where was the bullet recovered?"

"I can't provide that information at this time due to the investigation," Northway said.

Investigators are still trying to figure out who fired first.

Officer Northway says he could not comment on what happened in the critical moments before the shots were fired, saying only that officers are trained to tell armed people to stop and drop their weapons.

The deputy chief says Officers Matthew Smidt and Doug Kutchera were the officers who responded to the scene. The officers are now on leave pending a review of the shooting.

TPD says Officer Doug Kutchera is an 18 year veteran with high performance marks and seven reprimands on his record. He was cleared of any wrongdoing in a deadly shooting ten years ago.

Officer Matthew Smidt has been on the force nearly nine years. He has high performance marks but also a 40 hour suspension on his record for his handling of Christina West's DUI arrest.

Northway says Tallahassee Police have responded to that address once before in 2014 for a noise complaint over loud singing.

TPD says they are currently awaiting autopsy results.

By: WCTV Eyewitness News

June 30, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Tallahassee police say an armed man was killed during an exchange of gunfire with officers early Thursday morning.

According to TPD, a woman called 911 around 4:50 a.m. Thursday and told dispatchers that a man was threatening suicide at a home in the 600 block of W. 8th Avenue.

When two officers arrived at the scene, they saw the man in the yard with a gun, according to TPD.

Two shots were fired before the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

His identity has not been released by authorities and the relationship between the man and woman is unknown at this time. Police say that the man and woman did live in the home together.

TPD says a press conference is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

Both officers have been placed on paid administrative leave per department policy.

West 8th Avenue is blocked at Proctor St. at this time.

No further details are available at this time. WCTV will update this story as more information is released.

By: WCTV Eyewitness News

June 30, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Tallahassee Police Department is investigating a crime scene in the 600 block of West 8th Avenue.

The crime scene is in Tallahassee's Levy Park neighborhood.

At least 10 police cars are on the scene and West 8th Avenue is currently blocked off at this time.

Authorities have not disclosed any further details at this time.

WCTV is at the scene and will update this story as more information becomes available.