The woman who fell to her death from the top level of the Eastside Parking Structure in the early afternoon on Jan. 14 has been identified as Kerry Bloom, 48, of Alameda, Calif.
Officials have deemed the act a suicide. No motive has been discovered and University Police do not suspect foul play. Bloom was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
According to University Police Lt. John Brockie, officers were on their way to the roof of the structure just before Bloom jumped.
“We received a phone call to 911 that there was a person walking on the ledge of the Eastside parking structure … so our officers responded … we think she actually fell while they were in the structure driving up to the top,” said Brockie.
He said it is unknown if Bloom jumped because she saw officers approaching.
Bloom was not a student or faculty member and had no known connection with CSUF. Her reason for choosing the location is also unknown.
Graduate student Preetom Bhattacharya, 26, was leaving Mihaylo Hall when he saw an ambulance, fire truck and police at the base of the parking structure.
“The officers and paramedics were standing around a yellow tarp and weren’t looking down at it as they were filling out paperwork and on the radio, so I knew this wasn’t good,” Bhattacharya said.
“My car was parked right there on the first floor and as I drove down the ramp, I saw a pool of blood around it all and slumped-over feet in low-top sneakers poking out of the covering,” he said.
After collecting the body, the coroner’s office generally leads the follow-up investigation. Bloom’s family has been notified.
Bhattacharya let friends and classmates know what had happened and suggested that they avoid the area.
“I was just upset that someone would feel like this was their only way out, and I felt bad for this person’s friends or family. It sort of stuck with me all day to be honest,” he said.
Brockie encourages students and faculty to stay vigilant and report potentially suicidal behavior, even if they are having suicidal thoughts themselves. The Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) office on campus is available to all students. Seeking professional help there is free and confidential.
“Whenever something like this happens, that’s one of the things we look for, and people that are involved, especially if they’re part of our community, we go the extra mile to provide resources for them. It’s very traumatic,” Brockie said.
The campus Suicide Prevention Committee has been exploring different ways to prevent suicides, specifically suicide by jumping off of campus buildings.
Brockie, a member of the committee, said that a barrier along the roofs of buildings, like chain-link fences, could still be climbed over. Fire codes also have to be taken into consideration.
This is the latest in a chain of suicides off campus parking structures in the last four years. Brockie notes that not all suicides can be prevented, but research shows that if suicides are interrupted, the person is less likely to go somewhere else and attempt suicide again.
“If somebody is motivated to commit suicide, they’re going to accomplish it, (but that) doesn’t mean that we can’t do something to help prevent it,” Brockie said.