crimesider

Nigel Hardy, Calif. teen, commits suicide after alleged bullying, report says

Nigel Hardy
Palmdale Sheriff's Station via CBS Los Angeles

(CBS) PALMDALE, Calif. - Nigel Hardy, a 13-year-old Southern California boy who was allegedly bullied at school and disappeared from his Palmdale home Monday morning, has committed suicide, CBS Los Angeles reports.

Hardy was reported missing around 9:15 a.m. Monday, police say.

The boy, who was a cheerleader at Hillview Middle School, became "despondent" when he was temporarily suspended from the campus last week after fighting with another student, the station reports.

According to the LA Times, Hardy was suspended after punching a student who allegedly harassed him for being a cheerleader.

One of Hardy's friends reportedly told the paper that the teen endured bullying due to his participation in an extracurricular cheerleading club.

"He was a happy kid," the seventh-grader who described himself as Nigel's best friend told the paper. "But they used to make fun of him."

Hardy's father reportedly found a suicide note from his son and also discovered his firearm was missing.

The teenager was found dead Monday night in Kern County from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

"Our hearts are with the parents and family of Nigel Hardy as they deal with this tremendous personal loss," Regina Rossall, Westside Union School District's superintendent, said in a statement.

While Rossall did not comment on the specifics surround Nigel's suspension, she did say the school will hold a community meeting next week to discuss the event and examine school and district policy.