By Jim Walsh | East Valley Tribune
Seven East Valley teenagers committed suicide during a six-week period earlier this summer, creating a disturbing suicide cluster and a grassroots effort to do everything possible to prevent additional deaths.
The unusual suicide cluster included six boys and a girl ranging from 13 to 18 years old. Six victims hanged themselves and one death was by shooting. The deaths started on July 24 and ended on Labor Day weekend.
The teens lived within 10 to 12 miles of each other. They did not know each other, but one boy knew another boy who killed himself in May.
The victims – who lived in Chandler, Gilbert and Queen Creek – were described as high-achieving students with plenty of friends who might not fit the preconceived notion of a teen likely to commit suicide.