PALMDALE, Calif. - A 13-year-old boy who went missing in Palmdale after he became despondent over being suspended from school for fighting has shot himself to death in Kern County, authorities said today.
Nigel Hardy was found in Kern County around 8:30 p.m. Monday and taken
to Antelope Valley Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to Los Angeles County sheriff's officials.
Hardy was reported missing at 9:15 a.m. Monday from the 2300 block of
West Avenue N-8, Deputy Jodi Wolfe of the sheriff's Palmdale Station said in a
statement. He was despondent over having been suspended from school and his father found an apparent suicide note in the teen's room, Wolfe said.
The father's firearm was also found to be missing, but it was unknown if
the boy took it, Wolfe said.
It was unclear precisely where Hardy was located, but Kern County
sheriff's officials, who found the boy after being notified of an injured
person determined he had committed suicide, said Sgt. Harry Drucker of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Headquarters Bureau. A coroner's official said he
suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
News that Hardy was missing and might be armed prompted officials to
place his school on lockdown Monday, according to the Antelope Valley Times, which published photos of deputies armed with long rifles escorting students from the Hillview Middle School campus.
Hardy's note made no threat against the school or any individual and the
"school was placed on a state of heightened awareness" as a precaution,
The boy, a cheerleader at the school, was being bullied and last week
got into a fight with another student, leading to Hardy's suspension, according to the Antelope Valley Times, which cited a radio report.