NEW YORK -- An off-duty veteran New York city police officer killed himself on Wednesday, becoming the ninth police officer to die by suicide this year, authorities said.
The officer with over 25 years of service shot himself in the head at his Laurelton home in Queens just after 6 p.m., officials said. He was rushed to a hospital in Manhasset where he was pronounced dead. His name was not immediately released.
The tragedy comes just one day after another off-duty police officer fatally shot himself at his home in Yonkers.
"To anyone who may be struggling, know that there is support available," the department said in a Twitter post that announced the latest officer suicide.
Police Commissioner James O'Neill has declared a mental health crisis in the department amid the recent spate of officer suicides. He has sent messages reminding officers of available resources and urging them to seek help.
Police officers have a higher suicide rate than the general public experts say, in part because of their ready access to firearms.
Editor's note: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255).