A few days after being shamed by father on social media, Filipino-American Izabel Laxamana killed herself by jumping off a bridge in Tacoma, Washington on May 29 at 5pm.
Laxamana’s father cut off her long black hair as a punishment for ‘getting messed up.’ Her father then taped the incident and shared it online.
The 13-year-old girl was unable to cope with the humiliation. While passing at the South 48th Street overpass bridge in Tacoma on board her grandmother’s car, she exited the vehicle, climbed over the railing and jumped into Interstate 5 freeway below. Despite being taken to a nearby Seattle hospital, she died the next day after succumbing to her injuries.
Despite Laxamana’s death being declared as a suicide, several online commentators wanted her father held responsible for the death. The police, however, stated that there was no evidence that he committed a crime.
Upon hearing the said news, the teenager’s friends at Giaudrone Middle School expressed their shock and grief in social media.
Still in pain, Laxamana’s mother requested for privacy as their family mourns for her death. The troubled teenager left letters to her family before she committed suicide.
Officer Loretta Cool, a spokeswoman for the Tacoma Police Department believed that Laxamana had other reasons for committing suicide aside from the shaming video.
“Izabel was a 13-year-old who made a couple of bad decisions and then made one really bad one… This was her way of apologising to everyone,” she said.
“Kids don’t realize the permanence of suicide… They play video games and the next day everything’s all right. But with this, they don’t know how many people are going to be affected,” she added.