Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Updated Story on Death of CA Tow Truck Driver

Here's an update to the Morgan Hill Observer story of Tony Librers, who died on Sunday, Oct. 18.

As more details come out about the shooting death of Anthony William Librers last weekend, family and friends of the lifelong Morgan Hill resident respond in shock.

According to Sgt. A.J. Ford with the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office, deputies responded to a cabin in a remote area near the town of Jupiter at 2:47am on Oct. 17, where Librers and his friends were celebrating a bachelor party over the weekend.

“There was several witnesses there that were tending to Mr. Librers when we got there,” Ford said. “He was laying, bleeding from the head area. He was still alive, in a sense. He was breathing.”

Librers was transported to Sonora Regional Medical Center where he was put on life support before being flown to the Memorial Hospital and Medical Center in Modesto. He died on Sunday.

Ryan Groshong, who played in a band with Librers and says he was his best friend, was one of four witnesses on the scene when the incident occurred. He said they grew up in East Morgan Hill together, and had been friends since they were both 12 years old.

“It was my bachelor party,” Groshong said, his voice breaking. “Basically, most everybody had gone to sleep, and me and Tony were out there with our friend Justin who plays drums in our band, and our other friend… I was standing right there. I heard the gun go off next to my head, and I looked back, and Tony’s on the ground.”

Sgt. Ford said that all of the 10 people on the scene were interviewed extensively during the police investigation, and that it was determined that the gunshot wound was self-inflicted.

“Based on the investigation that was done, the position of the handgun that was there, how the wound looked, witnesses interviewed, and the scene. Based on all of that, I can tell you that in no way shape or form is their foul play suspected in this case,” Ford said.

Groshong said he and Librers had formed a punk band with two other friends last year. The band was scheduled to play the Mission Ale House in downtown San Jose on Nov. 13, according to their Myspace profile. Anthony Librers’ personal Myspace profile, titled “The Most Interesting Man In The World” (a nod to a beer ad campaign), still lists his mood as “Intense.”

Groshong said that Librers had had a history of depression, but that he had seemed to be doing better lately. He said everybody at his bachelor’s party had been celebrating and drinking that night.

“I knew he had issues with depression in the past, a long time ago. But lately, especially since we started the band together for real, his sprits seemed to be getting constantly better and better,” said Groshong. “I mean, I thought he was at a really happy point in his life, and I was really proud of him for pulling out of his depression. That’s why this is just so bizarre and shocking to everybody. I would have never thought that anything like this would have happened right now.”

Ford said that one of the witnesses had told the police during their interview that Librers had been put under a 72-hour psychiatric hold approximately a year ago, after he had made statements that he was suffering from depression and indicated that he might be a danger to himself.

The shooting came as a shock to everyone on the scene, Ford said. Groshong said that the Librers family has been devastated since the news of Anthony’s death.

“I spent a lot of time with them the other day, and I suppose they’re taking it well considering the circumstances. It’s not easy for anybody, especially his parents and his family. I mean, the man had three daughters,” he said.

As of now, the Sheriffs Department does not know if Librers shooting was accidental or intentional, Ford said.

“As far as when he was up here, they were very surprised, and said that he would have never done anything on purpose, not in this state of mind and at the bachelor party,” Ford said. “There was no notes or messages found later anywhere that would indicate he was suicidal.”

Ford said it’s possibile that the gun fired even though the clip had been removed.

“It is possible, especially for that type of gun, a Beretta 9 millimeter semi-automatic handgun, for the clip to be out of it and there still be one round in the chamber, and if fired, for it to go off,” Ford said. “Other guns, if you drop the clip out, regardless of whether there is a round in the chamber or not, it wont fire. But, this particular gun will.”

Ford was unable to confirm whether the gun was found on the scene with a clip removed or not.

Groshong said that he too was unsure whether Librers’ death was an accident or not.

“I don’t think anybody will know for sure, if this was an accident or if this was…,” Groshong said, his voice breaking off again. “I mean, obviously, this was self-inflicted, but I don’t know his intentions. I don’t know if he was joking around and he didn’t know that there was a bullet in the gun, or if he had been planning this.”

Groshong says that his Halloween-themed wedding is still scheduled for Oct. 31. “I don’t know how we’re going to go through with it, but we are going to go through with it,” he said. “He was my best friend, and I’m completely devastated right now.”

“I just know that he had a huge heart and was a very sensitive person. I know he loved his friends, and he loved his family, and most of all, he loved his daughters so much.”

A funeral for Librers is scheduled to take place at Johnson Funeral Home in Morgan Hill at 5pm on Oct. 25, with a Rosary at 7pm. St. Catherine Parish will hold a funeral mass on Oct. 26, with an interment to follow at Mt. Hope Memorial Park in Morgan Hill.

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