OCALA, Fla.(FOX 13) - The Marion County Sheriff's Office is mourning the loss of one of its deputies, who lost his life to suicide this week.
In a tearful video posted to the Marion County Sheriff's Office Facebook page, Sheriff Billy Woods shared the heartbreaking news, saying he was shocked and saddened when he found out a deputy took his own life. "Today, I come to you," said Sheriff Woods before breaking down, unable to continue, and then gathering his composure. "Today, I come to you with a heavy heart," he said.
"Those of you that have lost a loved one to suicide know the pain and sadness it brings to those who knew that person. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends today," said Sheriff Woods.
"I ask that you would also keep my deputies that worked alongside him in your thoughts and prayers in the coming days and weeks as they cope with this tragic event," he said. "I know that those who knew him will be looking for answers, comfort and peace to assuage their sadness. I pray that we can all find that comfort and strength we will need," he continued.
The deputy who died was identified as Adam Rendall, who has been with the department since 2004. Sheriff Woods recalled the story of how a child recently came up to Officer Rendall and gave him a stuffed animal, an act of kindness that made his night. "Those that he met couldn’t help but appreciate his big personality," Sheriff Woods said of Deputy Rendall.
Sheriff Woods asks for prayers for his deputies as they look for answers and urges anyone who sees his message, who is contemplating suicide, to get help. "I would encourage you to please reach out for help if you find yourself at a place in life that you need help."
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is 1-800-273-TALK and there is a COP LINE National Law Enforcement Officer Hotline also available: 1-800-267-5463.
Watch the full video below: