Divorce may have led to man’s suicide | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Divorce may have led to man’s suicide

Michael Trusty, a 35-year-old who killed himself Friday afternoon in Pacific Pawn Brokers’ bathroom with a handgun the store kept for security, told employees minutes before he shot himself that his wife had divorced him on their 18th wedding anniversary.

Trusty, a former employee of the Crescent V Shopping Center pawn shop, grabbed a loaded gun from behind the store counter and darted into a bathroom, a private room in the back of the store, and shot himself through the heart, a deputy said.

Witnesses told deputies that they heard a gun go off seconds after Trusty ran for the rest room.



Hank Kerschell, an employee who discovered Trusty’s body in the women’s bathroom with the lights out, said Trusty was in the store for 30 to 45 minutes before the incident. Kerschell said he offered Trusty an employment application and let him fill it out near the counter while he helped a customer.

“(The gun) was not in a place where you could see it,” Kerschell said. “Only an ex-employee would know about it. I think he went around the counter and was hiding out and then went for the gun and ran in the back room.”




Kerschell said a gate that leads behind the counter was open but it should have been locked shut.

Trusty told employees the day he killed himself that he was living at Sierra Tract with his grandmother. According to Kerschell, who has lived at South Shore most of his life, Trusty had been a resident of South Lake Tahoe at one point.

Police reported that Trusty was a resident of Chico, Calif., and that his wife contacted Chico police July 11 around 8 p.m. and told them that Trusty took a bus to Reno and that she wanted to report him missing.

Trusty, a recovering alcoholic on anti-depressants, had attempted suicide before and had talked about attempting suicide again, a deputy said.

David Aird, a manager at Pacific Pawn Brokers in Reno, said the company plans to review its policy of keeping an unsecured, loaded gun in their South Lake store.

“The police have the gun,” Kerschell said. “We may not carry one again. But that’s going to be a company decision.”


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