Prison guard takes own life while on duty at Ferguson Unit in Midway

MADISON COUNTY, Tex. (KBTX)- State authorities confirm a correctional officer on Sunday took his own life while on duty at the Ferguson Unit in Midway.

A spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice says on Sunday morning the staff at the prison attempted to make contact with the 40-year-old employee who was assigned to a security picket.

"After no response was received, staff entered the tower and found him dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound," said TDCJ Spokesman Jason Clark.

The officer is a native of Silsbee, Texas and began working for TDCJ in August 2002.

"We ask that you keep his family, friends, and coworkers in your thoughts and prayers," said Clark.

The Office of Inspector General is investigating the incident.

The Ferguson Unit is located 20 miles northeast of Huntsville on FM 247 in Madison County. It has 578 employees.

Warning signs of suicide
• Talking about wanting to die
• Looking for a way to kill oneself
• Talking about feeling hopeless or
having no purpose
• Talking about feeling trapped or
in unbearable pain
• Talking about being a burden
to others
• Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
• Acting anxious, agitated or recklessly
• Sleeping too little or too much
• Withdrawing or feeling isolated
• Showing rage or talking about
seeking revenge
• Displaying extreme mood swings

The more of these signs a person shows,
the greater the risk. Warning signs are
associated with suicide but may not
be what causes a suicide.

What to do
If someone you know exhibits
warning signs of suicide:
• Do not leave the person alone
• Remove any firearms, alcohol,
drugs or sharp objects that could
be used in a suicide attempt
• Call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention
Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255)
• Take the person to an emergency
room or seek help from a medical
or mental health professional

THE NATIONAL SUICIDE
PREVENTION LIFELINE
800-273-TALK (8255)

A free, 24/7 service that can provide suicidal persons or those around them with support, information and local resources.