Tilden's Little Farm is a popular family destination. Photo: Mary Flaherty
Tilden’s Little Farm is a popular family destination for many East Bay residents. Photo: Mary Flaherty
Tilden’s Little Farm is a popular family destination for many East Bay residents. Photo: Mary Flaherty

A man in his late 60s killed himself in the Tilden Little Farm parking lot on Friday afternoon after leaving a note about his intentions in his El Cerrito home.

East Bay Regional Park District spokeswoman Carolyn Jones said the man, who was born in 1948, appears to have shot himself as he sat in his Subaru station wagon in the parking lot around 2:15 p.m.

Jones said no one heard the gunshot, but that a family reported the incident at 2:30 p.m. after seeing the man, who appeared to be deceased, in his vehicle.

The man was lying in the front seat, with the seat reclined, and had received a single gunshot wound to the head. The gun was found on his chest when authorities responded.

Jones said the man had been reported missing out of El Cerrito. Authorities found a suicide note at his home during the investigation.

The Berkeley Fire Department declared the man dead at 3:10 p.m.

Jones said the EBRPD initially got many calls about the incident, some of which referred to a “gunman at Little Farm.” Those reports were particularly concerning given the popularity of the destination, especially on a sunny afternoon, for local families.

It was the Park District’s second suicide in less than two weeks.

In the prior incident, Jones said a man jumped off a boat into the middle of Lake Chabot. According to the Contra Costa Times, that incident took place Tuesday, July 14, just before noon.

“Many witnesses saw him,” she said. “We have not found his body.”

Alameda County offers a 24-hour crisis support line for those seeking mental health assistance. The support line can be reached at 800-309-2131. Contra Costa County offers a similar service, which can be reached at 800-833-2900.

Tilden Little Farm, merry-go-round re-open to public (07.10.14)
Little Farm, Tilden Park areas to close for 5 months (09.24.13)
Pets dumped in Tilden cause problems, become dinner (02.05.13)
Summer camps: the great outdoors a stone’s throw away (05.27.11)
Much interest, but still no sign of Honey the goat (02.03.10)
$1,000 reward offered in missing Tilden goat case (01.20.10)
Bring back Honey the goat (01.13.10)

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Emilie Raguso (former senior editor, news) joined Berkeleyside in 2012 and covered politics, public safety and development until her departure in 2022. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist...