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Calif. deputy shoots, kills himself in courthouse

Posted: September 25, 2012 8:00 p.m.
Updated: September 25, 2012 8:00 p.m.
 

CRESCENT CITY (AP) — Colleagues at a Northern California sheriff's office are mourning one of their own after a longtime deputy fatally shot himself inside the county courthouse.

Del Norte County Sheriff's Cmdr. Bill Steven said Tuesday that 45-year-old Harold Esparza was off-duty when he shot himself in the head after entering the courthouse's holding cells Sunday morning.

Steven called Esparza "a good guy."

Steven said authorities are calling Esparza's shooting a suicide as the married father with kids may have killed himself due to a combination of stress and other undisclosed issues.

The sheriff's office said the deputy of nearly 20 years gave no note or warning prior to his death.

Services for Esparza are scheduled Friday morning at the St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Crescent City.

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