A 65-year-old Emeryville Marina Liveaboard took his own life last Friday at a bench overlooking the bay. Emeryville Police Chief Jennifer Tejada confirmed the sad news via email. “We did respond to what appears to be a suicide by gunshot on Friday night in the vicinity of the marina.”
The County Coroner confirmed that Larry Joseph Rouse was pronounced dead on scene and the cause was officially ruled a suicide. Rouse’s next of kin has been notified and funeral arrangements are being made.
The site where Rouse shot himself was reportedly a bench at the Emeryville Marina overlooking the Bay. His body was discovered by a visitor of the park at about 11:30 p.m. who alerted Marina security. Marina security in turn called the nearby Emeryville Police who responded to the scene.
According to a neighbor of the Marina who asked not to be identified, Rouse was a longtime resident of the Marina having lived there for 17 years. Larry, as he was known by neighbors, was “a great guy” and a neighbor recollected him being helpful to others and recalled him saying he had a background in law enforcement.
Rouse also had a troubled past and was on the state’s registered sex offender database required by Megan’s Law. Rouse was convicted of a “lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 years of age” back in 1994.
Larry was reportedly diagnosed with cancer and “had a rough road ahead of him”. According to witnesses, Larry left a note and had arranged for neighbors to execute his will and ensure his family received any of his assets. Larry’s sailboat “Misty” was chained to the dock as standard protocol while Marina management reconciled any legal issues or debts.
This was the second recently reported suicide in our city. The last one being 71-year-old Nancy Jacot-Bell who jumped from a roof of the Bayside Park retirement complex on 40th Street on May 12th.
Jacot-Bell was later identified as the wife of former Black Panther Herman Bell, who was recently freed from prison after a forty-year sentence for his role in the murder of two NYPD officers in 1971.
Suicide rates are up sharply across the U.S. according to a recent report by the CDC. The issue has been brought to the discussion forefront with the recent celebrity suicides of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade. There’s been ongoing discussion among media outlets whether suicides should even be covered as news.
Those having thoughts of suicide are encouraged to call the National, 24 hour prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255. There is also an online Lifeline Chat feature that connects individuals to counselors.