MUKILTEO, April 12, 2022 – On March 27, around 11 p.m., a Mukilteo Police Officer discovered the body of Gary A. Johnson, 67, of Langley, WA, in Mukilteo’s Lighthouse Park during a routine clearing and closure of the park. The officer stated in his police report that the cause of death appeared to be suicide, though the official ruling is pending.
Officer Christopher Perisho locked the public restrooms at Lighthouse Park and began clearing the area in a marked patrol vehicle just before 11 p.m. when he noticed a white 2005 GMC Safari van with Washington plates stationed in the middle of the parking lot.
Initially assuming the van had been left there overnight by a ferry passenger, Officer Perisho decided to inspect the vehicle to confirm it was unoccupied.
As the officer approached the van from behind, he peered through the rear windows and saw a man lying prone inside, partially covered by a blue tarp. Believing the person to be asleep, Officer Perisho continued walking to further observe the situation when he spotted a pool of blood near the individual’s head from the driver’s side window.
Upon this discovery, he advised dispatch that it appeared as though the man had taken his own life. After running the plate of the vehicle and a records check, it was confirmed that the individual’s identity was a Gary A. Johnson of Langley, WA.
Island County informed a detective who later arrived at the scene, that Johnson “had recently been the subject of a suicidal call” only 11 days earlier.
When the medical examiner arrived, they were able to identify the weapon—a Kahr Arms 9mm pistol which matched a purchase Johnson made in 2000. Detectives also found a wallet with a driver’s license, further confirming the individual’s identity.
The cause of death ruling is pending as the report still requires supervisor approval. The investigation is considered ongoing.
Suicide Prevention Resources
Despite warmer and sunnier days ahead, the Snohomish County Health District’s Suicide Prevention page raises awareness of how summer vacation can cause a change in routine and reduced structure, which can make “summer a time of stress and anxiety for others in our community.”
“We each play a key role in looking out for one another,” the webpage continues. “So here are some reminders and resources to help students, friends and families enjoy a safe and stress-free summer.”
Readers are invited to view the Health District’s “Safe and Healthy Summer” PDF, which lists opportunities for individuals to connect with families, friends, and communities.
The Health District’s webpage provides several suicide prevention resources. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, click here to view the Health District’s list of resources, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.