NBC29 spoke with Dewey Cornell yesterday about the suicide of a teenager from Fluvanna. Neighbors and family members are still not sure what caused the Fluvanna County High School junior to resort to suicide. But at its core, this is a cautionary tale of how quickly life can change, and end.
Madison Millwee graduated from Fluvanna County High School in 2010. She and her family are still reeling after receiving the news.
“In a little town like this, you never expect something like that to happen,” she said. “When it does, the whole world kind of just shifts.”
Family members found high school junior Collin Hamshar dead in his home Monday afternoon, after an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. But Millwee is focusing on positive memories of her friend, a boy she remembers fondly from high school marching band.
“He was the sweetest thing. Always running around, the biggest grin on his face. Just the sweetest guy,” she said.
But the lingering question is, why? Social media websites like Twitter and Facebook mention bullying as a possible cause. But family members of the deceased say he didn’t show any signs of bullying, and that he was a happy kid most all of the time.
Youth violence expert Dr. Dewey Cornell says suicide is one of the leading causes of death for young people. Sometimes, he says, risk factors can go unnoticed by friends and family. But there is rarely a single factor to blame.
“I don’t think that it’s realistic to point the finger and say, ‘well this was the cause,’ or, ‘this person is who’s at blame,’” Cornell said. “The only way that we can prevent suicide is to be receptive, observant, and to break the code of silence and the stigma that surrounds this.”
Fluvanna County Schools are offering counseling services to help students cope with this tragedy.
NBC29 article can be found here.