A Black man's hanging death in Southern California has officially been ruled a suicide based on an autopsy and a purchase from a local Dollar Tree store.
Robert Fuller, 24, was found hanging from a tree in front of Palmdale City Hall in Poncitlán Square on June 10.
Authorities launched a monthlong investigation after Fuller's family rejected the official cause of death.
"The explanation of suicide does not seem plausible," his family said in a statement. "There are many ways to die, but considering the current racial tension, a Black man hanging himself from a tree definitely doesn't sit well with us right now. We want justice, not comfortable excuses."
Authorities focused their investigation on the red rope and fabric found in the tree. Police said there was a May 14 purchase on Fuller's EBT card that was consistent with the red rope used in the hanging.
Sheriff's Commander Chris Marks said Fuller had a history of depression and was hospitalized three times since 2017, according to the NY Times.
Fuller told doctors he had suicidal ideations and had previously put a gun to his head. His last hospital admission was in November. He told doctors at a hospital in Nevada that he "did have a plan to kill himself," Marks said.
Jason R. Hicks, a lawyer representing Fuller's family, said he planned to respond to the sheriff's department's finding. The family does not have any comments at this time.
The half-brother of Robert Fuller, the 24-year-old Black man who was found hanging from a tree in Palmdale, Calif. last week, was shot dead by Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriffs on Wednesday.
Terron Boone was fatally shot by deputy sheriffs around 4:30 p.m. in a parking lot in Rosemond (Kerne County), about 20 miles north of Palmdale.
A shootout occurred as sheriff's attempted to pull over a car that Boone was a passenger in.
Police allege that Boone opened fire on the deputies who returned fire. The woman driver was shot in the chest. She was treated for a gunshot wound at a local hospital and released late Wednesday, police say.
A 7-year-old girl was also in the car but she was uninjured, according to reports.
Boone faced multiple charges of assault, domestic violence, criminal threats and kidnapping, according to the LA Times.
Fuller was discovered hanging from a tree in front of Palmdale City Hall in Poncitlán Square around 3:39 a.m. Friday, June 12.
Authorities initially said Fuller committed suicide, but a Los Angeles coroner walked back the suicide theory.
A full investigation is underway into the case.
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Police will investigate the death of Robert Fuller, a 24-year-old Black man, who was found hanging from a tree in Southern California early Friday.
Fuller was found hanging in a park in front of Palmdale City Hall in Poncitlán Square around 3:39 a.m.
Authorities initially believed Fuller committed suicide. The body showed no signs of a struggle and the scene was undisturbed, which would have indicated others hoisted his body into the tree.
But Fuller’s sister, Diamond Alexander insisted her brother was not suicidal.
Sheriff's Captain Ron Shaffer said homicide detectives are now investigating the circumstances leading to his death to determine if foul play was involved.
The news comes after police confirmed a second Black man was found hanging from a tree on May 31 in Victorville - about 45 miles east of Palmdale.
San Bernardino County sheriff's spokeswoman Jodi Miller said foul play was not suspected in Harsch's death.
Harsch, 38, was found hanging from a tree near the Victorville City Library.
On Saturday, hundreds of protesters gathered under the tree where Fuller's body was found.
After placing a memorial with balloons and flowers, the crowd marched from the park to the sheriff's station. Many carried signs that read "Justice for Robert Fuller."
More than 100,000 people signed an online petition demanding a full investigation into Fuller's death.
Robert Fuller, a 24-year-old Black man, was found hanging from a tree in front of Palmdale City Hall in Poncitlán Square around 3:39 a.m. Friday, VladTV.com reports.
Authorities believe Fuller committed suicide. The body showed no signs of a struggle and the scene was not disturbed, which would have indicated others hoisted his body into the tree.
Lt. Brandon Dean of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau told reporters there was "nothing that would indicate he was put up there against his will. The rope wasn't thrown over but tied to the branch, which means somebody had to get up there and tie it."
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City officials believe Fuller was suffering from a mental health crisis, likely exacerbated by forced isolation during the coronavirus quarantine in California.
Fuller reportedly had a history of depression.
Last week, writer and author Jas Waters committed suicide by hanging. Her body was discovered in her home in California. She was 39.
If you are in crisis or having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text TALK to 741741.