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Sheriff: Woodbridge Elementary Student Dies By Suicide During Online Class

CONTENT WARNING: This article contains information regarding death and suicide. If you are struggling with depression or have thoughts of suicide, there is help. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll-free number, 1-800-273-TALK(8255).

WOODBRIDGE (CBS13) — An elementary school student killed himself while in his distance learning class late Wednesday morning, the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office confirmed.

Deputies confirm the 11-year-old boy was in his Zoom class with his microphone and camera off when he took his own life. His sister, who was distance learning in another room, found him and alerted a neighbor and her teacher, who helped call authorities.

The sheriff's office said deputies responded to the 300 block of Sterling Street in the community of Woodbridge just after 11 a.m. to investigate a reported shooting. At the scene, a young boy with a head injury was found. The boy was rushed to a nearby hospital with his parents by his side. He later died from his injuries.

Detectives have since responded to the scene and are now investigating.

Paul Warren is the special education director for the Lodi Unified School District. He oversees mental health services within the district.

"Sometimes we go through things that are temporary emotional experiences and with the support of family and other trained people we can get through those things. It's tragic. Everybody's has been impacted by this," Warren said.

Warren said the district has a team of mental health therapists to work with students and staff.

Renee Bond, a licensed clinical counselor, works directly with children.

"I think it's really time as a society that we start investing in wellbeing and mental health," Bond said.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers suggestions to help: ask for help, make a safety plan, and look for warning signs. Bond says there could be several warning signs someone is in trouble.

"Withdrawing is one of them. When you listen to them talking and they're talking about hopelessness or nobody loves me. You know you're children better than anyone, trust yourself," Bond said.

The Lodi Unified School district tells CBS13 that Woodbridge Elementary School will have class Thursday as planned but counselors will be on hand should students or faculty need that.

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