Minn. Man Kills Self In His Car After Losing Job

BURNSVILLE, Minn. (AP) — Burnsville police say a Northfield man who had just lost his job committed suicide in front of former colleagues by locking himself in his car and shooting himself in the head.

Fifty-one-year-old Patrick Joseph Graves was still alive Thursday morning when officers arrived. He died about an hour later at a hospital.

Graves had just been let go from Goodrich Corp., where his girlfriend said he worked for three years. Jill Murphy says Graves received an unexpectedly poor performance review Monday and was fired Thursday.

A company official declined to say whether Graves was fired, citing employee confidentiality.

Murphy tells the St. Paul Pioneer Press Graves told the company he struggled with depression.

Graves was divorced with three daughters. His 15-year-old daughter says all three knew he loved them.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Deep Thinker

    Always a need to sue somebody, right Jeff? Yep, that’s the answer, thanks for your brilliant insight.

  • Everybody Wants To Be A Victim

    First of all, learn how to spell. Second, why lay someone off if they deserve to be fired.

    • Richard in Minneapolis

      If they’re never recalled, what’s the difference?

  • Rico Suave

    I think we all see the signs of your insanity. Are you mental. People don’t always broadcast their intent and you can’t just chase people around because they’re depressed. Some times when you’re depressed you hide it. You can’t make anyone responsible for you. Only you can really care for you. Lawsuits are out of control and it costs us all. Thinking like yours is why.

  • Joanna Bostwick Backman

    Most companies’s insurance policies will cover counseling and therapy for its employees. But, as someone who has also had a lot of trouble with depression for many years, you have to usually make the first step yourself, or at least have someone in your family help you out. I think blaming any company for this is wrong. Lawsuits don’t solve all of the problems in society.

  • Everybody Wants To Be A Victim

    common (not sommon)

  • Sad in MN

    I would like to read it, so please do. A co-worker of mine committed suicide and no one would have ever guessed that that person was depressed. We learned later that they never sought counseling or took any medication that could have helped.

    My sincere condolences to Mr. Grave’s family and friends.

    • SMR

      The question is; did the person commit suicide because he was depressed already, or did he become depressed from the firing, then take his own life. Seems to me, an event like this one, in Tunisia, was the spark that kindled the “Arab Spring”.

      • Chris in LA

        Dealing with depression is like treading water. Even if you can’t swim out of it, you can usually keep your head above water. Until Goodrich tosses you the 40 pound rock and yells, “here, catch!.”

        • ty harris

          A very good analogy Chris. Spoken like somebody who has been there / got the T-shirt. That is exactly what depresion is like. I don’t blame the company though. You dont really know somebody is going to react like that.

          • John Galt

            Consultants recommend Monday for layoffs. Less depression and fewer deaths stats.

            • Lumberg

              In Office Space they say Friday is better.

          • Allison

            No, but you can absolutely ensure no one ever has an UNEXPECTED bad performance review. If true, that’s bad policy and bad management. The correct thing to do is give clear verbal and written declarations about performance issues over several weeks/months before it gets to that point. If the issue is some other abrupt thing–bizarre unexplained absences, etc. then you refer to EAP first before it’s viewed as a performance issue.

            • BolshevikObama

              Perhaps the company has been planning to cut their headcount for some time now, and the company put trumped-up adverse information in the performance reviews of those who they wanted to get rid of. That way, if the victims sue for wrongful termination, the company can claim that the employee was a poor performer.

    • xyzzy

      As much as I can’t stand Obama politically, I think your comment is in poor taste … I know what you’re saying, but what’s the point … just feel sorry for this poor man, and keep an eye on your friends. I had an acquantance who got layed-off, grew despondent, got drunk/drugged, went to hospital and was dead a week later … he didn’t WANT to live, and so be it … but it’s still sad. Trust me, I’m basically with you, I feel the general ‘depression’ of the nation, at least those with a brain … but still.

      • Rocky Mountain

        This is about Bush and politics? Didn’t people kill themselves during the Clinton administration?

  • ez

    First of all I feel for his family, suicide is a terrible thing. Second, I must say that you have no idea what you are talking about. It does not matter how long it took from the review to his firing, he was an at will employee and his family does not have a leg to stand on. I worked with a man who blew his head off with a shotgun, I never knew that he was depressed until after he was dead. How can they have seen the signs? And for that matter, what law says that they are responsible to give him treatment?

    • ZZ

      Perhaps they do not have to provide treatment, but the DAD does cover depression as a disability. Depression is serious. It is a physical disease in the brain and can be completely debilitating.

      • ZZ

        Not DAD, ADA. Sorry. Just woke up.

  • Brian

    @Jeff from Burnsville-you, sir, are a moron. And you are everything that is wrong with this country today. “Everybody should make MY problems THEIR problems so I’m not the only one dealing with them…and if they refuse, I’ll SUE THEM.” Goodrich Corp is trying to run a business in an economy that has swallowed many other businesses. It’s trying to keep a good employee base and because they fire someone who isn’t performing, they should be sued, huh? You’re an idiot

    • Another common man

      How do you know that he was fired? I thought the company wasn’t releasing that. Anyway…

      Ultimately, yes, the company is not liable for this person taking his own life, yet I’ve never seen so much pent up rage towards someone expressing an opposing opinion to support a company in which there is no actual lawsuit against.

      Wow! Take a step back people, please!

      • Another common man

        Also remember,

        That not every employee gets fired or let go because they’re not performing. Be careful when making assumptions. A lot of times they can turn into lies.

        • Brian

          @Another common man-did you read the article? If you hadn’t posted a comment, I’d be shocked to find out you’re smart enough to have the ability to read. “Graves had just been let go from Goodrich Corp…Jill Murphy says Graves received an UNEXPECTEDLY POOR PERFORMANCE review Monday and was FIRED Thursday.” I have no pent-up rage or anamocity..at least, no more than Jeff from Burnsville did when he made his original comment. Lawsuit, lawsuit, lawsuit. Lets take accountability from everybody except the one with the deep pockets so maybe we can get some cash. Pathetic.

          • Paul Solinger

            It always amazes me how some people, like Brian, can react with so much hatred towards another man’s opinion.

            • Another common man

              Yeah no pent up rage or anamocity there.

              and I quote:
              “@Jeff from Burnsville-you, sir, are a moron. And you are everything that is wrong with this country today.”

              Nope no anger at all.

              • Ferris Lind

                a man kills himself .. and you add yourself to the idiots like jeff and brian .. Another Common Idiot

          • Paolo

            “Unexpectedly Poor Performance” Are you this gullible to believe this? Just another way to unload an undoubtedly more expensive hourly assembler function Mr. Graves had and come in with cheaper labor. Boy Brian u are very arrogant to call others idiots and wet behind the ears. What do YOU do for a living tough guy?

            • Chili Boots

              This is the Corporate Structure functioning as designed.

              We kill It, or It kills us. Those are the only two choices.

              • Daniel Morgan

                Poor performance review and this is fault of the Corporate Structure how?

                Your logic is most peculiar.

                Or perhaps you like it when companies give poor service and/or distribute products of poor quality?

                • Alex

                  Performance reviews are so subjective that they should be declared meaningless. It is like a lot of things where they try to put a patina of legitimacy on things that are just whether you are liked or not.

                • June

                  Sounds like blame the victim. For 2 years I recieved excellent reviews. Then I was sexually harasssed, 3 seperate times. I found out after the grievance questioning there was another person that filed a sexual harassement grievance also. Management made my life hell for 3 months, transferred me, and then fired me. Oh, and they gave me a bad performance review after I filed grievance.

            • Alex

              You got it.

  • Willow

    Not every depressed person shows signs that are inherently obvious. The only sign my former housemate showed is on the day before he set a fire to kill himself, I had offered him his favorite food because I had some extra, and he refused it. That was it. So don’t make the assumption that there are always obvious signs. There aren’t always.

  • Deep Thinker

    @Dan…sorry, I meant @DJ

  • JSStryker

    You first

  • bill halsey

    By commenting that makes you one of the morons…bang! :)

  • krp

    So more regulations from the DOL adding to the cost of recruitment and employment. Companies would just be better off going to full automation so that employees are not needed at all, and that would eliminate all of these “problems”

  • leebo

    I have the same issue as a former NASA contractor who just endured winning a large contract. 4 months llater they tossed me out, and in their own paperwork show they kept a younger guy. The name of the company ITT. Being a middle aged white guy is a crime these days.

    • huldah1776

      Oil and gas companies are hiring, defense companies need help, too. sounds like you are a smart guy, keep looking, some companies are looking for clearance capable people. Look for them. Military sites, oil company sites, tech sites. Keep looking.

      • HH Fan

        As a middle-aged White engineer, I can tell you that companies would rather hire young H-1b slaves for half the money.

        • Ernaldo T

          How true. My former company fired me after two years of highest sales and profit of any of the 21 branches, and cited “poor performance”. They replaced 58 year old me with a 32 year old fire brand, that lasted four months…..
          Some companies suck

        • George Burley

          I guess you didn’t actually read the comment you replied to. It was talking about jobs for clearance capable workers. Foreign workers and H1-B workers aren’t going to be eligible to receive a clearance because they would be ineligible. But then again you were just looking for an excuse to complain anyway. Maybe you can’t find a job because you suck, not because of your age.

      • June

        Wow, I like your reply. What a great attitude:) Thanks

  • Liberalsarefunny

    I have no doubt they will….

  • Wall street greed

    If you work for a mult national corporation like B F Goodrich, your job is not secure, it will go to China, Mexico ect . Capitalism chases cheap labor. If you lose your job at the age of 50, you chances of being employed are very low.
    So, all you College educated American workers thinking you are secure in your 6 figure income jobs , I say BEWARE. Your jobs are being outsourced to China, India, Central America. for $5.00 an hour. American greed at the top level of corporations will continue thanks to the ilk like Newt Gingrich who passed the NAFTA agreement and sent millions of jobs overseas. I feel so sorry for this man and his family.

    • The Grande Wazoo

      Hey @ Wall street greed, just an FYI for you. NAFTA was negtiated by Bush 41 and his Canadian & Mexican counterparts prior to 1992 and was signed by Clinton in 1993 after ratification by a bipartisan House vote in 1993. Newt Gingrich did not become Speaker with a Republican Majority until after the 1994 elections. It was a Democratic President & House delegation that left the American middle class holding the bag. Remember Ross Perot & the “giant sucking sound of jobs going to Mexico”? He was tight. Furthermore, Clinton pushed to open China up to moving manufactuing jobs there with his push to get them full status in the WTO in 2000. Remember the riots in Seattle? I bet the Democrats would just love to get the taxes those well-paying manufactuing jobs would have paid now if they were still on shore!

      • Luxomni

        If anyone thinks that there is any difference in who Clinton, Bush, or Obama report to, they are mistaken. Hint, it isn’t the people of the US.

        • Denver

          Bravo! Somebody else gets it. Republican/Democrat is a sham designed to keep us occupied so that we can’t see what they’re really doing to us. Bush, Obama, Reagan, Clinton all work for the same puppetmasters.

      • The Bobster

        Yes, amazing how libt ards will rewrite history to fit their aganda. Beelzebubba actually thinks he didn’t veto welfare reform twice until he was forced to pass it.

    • Dan in Burnsville

      A man’s sense of pride and self-worth is so shattered that he takes his own life and you’re in here staging a protest.
      You should be ashamed of yourself.
      All of you, turning this political, shame on you.
      More than likely the only politics this involved was with the supervisor who ripped him in his evaluation and then fired him.
      Rather than spouting off about matters so far removed, say a prayer for him and his kids, because they’re the ones who are going to carry this the rest of their lives.

      • Rebecca Hoover

        Unfortunately, this is not just about one man losing his job. There are millions facing desperation in this poor economy.

    • Jimmy T.

      Hey wall st guy. Wasn’t Clinton president at the tim of passing the Nafta bill? he was all for it and signed it right on TV. .

  • Gregorovich512

    What pure BS! There are 6:1 MORE non-union jobs in this country and things like this are an infitismal percentage. It is a shame and heart-wrenching this has happened. However, it is NOT caused by the lack of a union. More people are killed each year in union-sponsored violence – you don’t seem to remember to cite that one do you? If the employees elect to NOT have a union – that TOO is democratic. So your whole premise of what good a union is, is washed away in the tide of truth.

  • Liberalsarefunny

    HA HA HA HA!!

    Brilliant, genius…

  • sumunownguy

    Or maybe he was one of those who are doing the jobs of two to three people, while the compnay is stockpiling money. Meanwhile the government is in the way of businesses being able to forecast, so they just keep on making a profit, but noit hiring anyone to take up the slack.. We the American people are being taken for a ride my friends. My condolences to the family of this man.

    • diane

      What in the world leads you to presume ALL companies have money to stockpile? And publically held companies answer to stock holders – not employees. The these huge profits you imagine go back into the company for R&D and to hedge future losses. This protects the jobs of employees there as well.

      • Kyle Davidson

        Right, Apple needs more money than the US government in cash on hand as a hedge.

        • Turk

          And just who are you to decide how much money anyone can have? Whats next, should all houses be the same size? Should we only be allowed to have one car? Are you going to limit us to 2 children per family? Its obvious you dont care for Americas brand of freedom so move to a communist country!!!!!!

          • TcKale

            yeah turk go on over the deep end because someone criticized the people hoardng all your cash/value…I’m certain they EARNED it right? Theft should not be rewarded no matter how bad you want to be a thief yourself

            • BLem

              Tc, I think you don’t understand the meaning of the word ‘theft’. Theft isn’t selling a legitimate product or service. Theft is taking money that isn’t yours, say by having the government confiscate it and distribute it to their voter base.

              You may need to come to grips with your envy.

        • MidWestMike

          Your showing your economic ignorance, quit before you look like an idiot

    • Keys Carolyn

      Or maybe he was doing a lousy job, and knew it. Meanwhile, the company kept him on out of empathy and concern, and probably because most bosses don’t like to fire anybody. He felt worse and worse because he couldn’t perform to the reqiuirements of the job. I doubt if a man who struggled with depression could have held the jobs of two or three. He would have been lucky to do well in his own job, which apparently he couldn’t. … There are many scenarios for this particular situation, and we can’t know which one is true, but I think yours highly unlikely, and also suspect. You have an agenda and everything gets bent to fit it..

  • Randy Phillips

    millions of employees feel unduly presured by supervisors in this unforgiving econmy, and lat of supervisors want to show how tough they are. Many people are likely fired unnecesarily or in a heartless manner.

    One wonders why this poor guy ogt an “unexpectedly” negative review.

    One thing is sure, no one except Mr. Graves and his family will sufer any consequences for his dismisal.

    • Bachmann

      You are right. And nobody else should.

    • Kenny West

      You are absolutely right. I have worked in the corporate world for 30 plus years and recently am seeing more and more abusive “supervisors,” who usually are just drone workers who managed to get promoted and are on horrible power trips because those they supervised have no other options than to put up with their tyrannical treatment. When we get a decent president and the economy straightens out, I imagine a lot of workers will be singing the Take This Job and Shove It song.

    • Cranios

      Injun: Re-read your comment above over and over again, until you can spot the inconsistnecy between what you are telling Randy to do, and what you are doing yourself.

      • Shawn Wilson

        I have to agree with Cranios.Randy did not say anything venomous. The indian started the negativity.

      • Jack

        Nice try, ignorant arrogant psycho.

  • Mentaloaf

    Wrong…There are hundreds of rules and regulations that an employer has to abide by in regards to ANY employee, union or not…As for this guy, you can’t say that he killed himself because he lost his job or whatever. Lots of people lose their job and don’t kill themselves. There is much more going on in this guys head than you think. I just had a good friend commit suicide who was the last guy you would EVER think to do that…He was depressed, and I believe was prescribed an antidepressant that made his thinking go the wrong way. This happens quite a bit with antidepressants and suicide, google it….poor daughters, I’ll pray for them

  • somewhereinus

    This is going to be a hard time for his children, and ultimately for the community as a whole. It is important that everyone keep the lines of communication open and get through this sad outcome for a man that was struggling with depression. There are countless directions that fingers can be pointed, but all fingers belong to the ones that need closure and my hope is that they will find it. My condolences to Patrick Graves’ family, co-workers, and friends.

  • ignorantsoutherner

    None of the cruel trolls posting unfeeling comments can know the pain of despair that would drive a person to do this. I pray God will grant comfort to his family. I am glad they know he loved them.

    • Mort

      Ever been depressed fern? Ever had a bout of depression in your life? How about being diagnosed with Clinical Depression? No? How piously cynnical of you and your ignorant position (shared by far too many others).

      Having been diagnosed as ‘Clinically depressive myself, I can certainly empathize with this man’s actions. What seems irrational and selfish to others no longer seems revelvant when you feel like the whole damned world is against you.

      Don’t give me the God argument, either. While many find solace in religious belief, many do not. Like it or not, religion is not necessarily the answer every time. I question not just others blind faith, but my own belief as well. If it works for you great, but it does not work for everyone. I was raised a catholic (long since renounced), and am still extremely conservative, but I am a secular conservative. It is my logical belief in what is right and wrong that keeps me going. I hope that God exists, I really do, and try to live my life accordingly, but as far as I know-its just us.

      I hope you (or anyone else) has to experience the darkness that dwells just behind the inner wall I’ve created to keep it out. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. But as for this man, I grieve not for him (because I believe he is finally free), but for those he left behind.

      • Mort

        I misspoke in the last paragraph and I apologize. I meant to say: ‘I hope NEITHER you NOR anyone else.’ I needed to clear that up as I was not trying to be hateful or vitriolic.

    • ugh

      Seriously? You’re a closed minded bigot. Honestly. YOU lack compassion.

    • Shaun

      You would be amazed what makes sense to you when strong emotions take hold. Have you ever acted out of anger? Maybe had one of those days where you’re so worked up and thinking of things you would say or do? Later, when you calm down, you realize those things were out of line. Depressions is much the same way, and with the right trigger (sorry for the term), a lot of dark things make a lot of sense.

    • Cranios

      I totally agree. This poor man and his family. It is only his own fault that he did it, not the company’s, but yet the feeling of hopelessness that he felt in order to do this must have been beyond imagining. May God have mercy on his soul.

  • Jack

    @Dan – While I agree with you assertion that companies can not coddle under-performing employees that may be on the brink – I do think that in the case of Mr. Graves, he may have seriously tried his best, and may have been a good and competent worker. Sometimes, we have bad bosses, and it doesn’t matter what you do – you may be the best worker, but if a boss has it out for you, you may feel a victim. I just want to consider the other side of the under-performers comment.

    • GsGirl

      @Jack and @sumunownguy, I agree with you…my husband was an awesome employee and respected by his bosses and those he supervised at his previous job (in the IT field). When a new CIO came in (this was a large hospital/corporation), he started getting rid of people he didn’t like, or making the environment almost impossible to work in so that people would leave. My husband stayed there until he could find another job, ($12,000 less a year in pay – net!). He had to leave because the job was causing trouble with his physical health. In a year’s period of time, 25 people left and looked for other jobs, even taking jobs that paid less because they couldn’t stand this new CIO. A year later the CIO was fired. My husband never gave less than a stellar performance and always scored high on reviews for the previous 3 years, then this CIO came in and knocked him down in the review in spite of my husband actually taking on MORE work, etc…I shudder to think of how much worse my husband could have been if he hadn’t found another job. Fortunately, several corporations found out about my husband’s skills and wanted him to come work for them, so he was able to take on another job…but the $1,000 a month net income that we lost due to the job change has been really difficult…and all because some jerk CIO had attitude…I realize that this may not have much to do with the depression end of the issue, but my point is that there are two sides…a poor performance review doesn’t necessarily mean a poor performer!

      • Billw

        Ah, but @Dan is probably one of the folks like the CIO you are discussing. I had the same thing happen to me (in IT, no less) but it resulted in my going out and starting my own business. Corporations are full of incompetant jerks we call managers who are useless but want to seem important. To do this they steal recognition from their employees and if the employee says, “Hey, wait a minute. I worked my butt off doing that and you took credit for it, got a raise and then dinged me on my review because you wanted to justify the lack of a raise/promotion?”, they make life hell for the employee.

        This is why America is such a poor performing nation. The useless ones are in charge and those of us who do make the real value are subject to them. I work for myself now and I make twice what I made working as a corporate drone.

        Now I actually have a “career path” and a realistic chance at retirement.

        • Dan in Burnsville

          Billw, you exactly right. I had one of those myself. They set you up for failure, they exploit your weaknesses rather than your strengths, nit-pick the hell out of whatever you do while the people they “like” get away with murder.
          I know what that feels like. But for my beliefs, and having had a suicide in my own family when I was 14 — I SAW it! — there have been times when that path was a lot more attractive than waking up the next morning and pushing on.

        • Dave

          Bravo, Bill w……everything you’ve typed here is dead on…..

          • Dale Gribble

            So its people like you that are hoarding money and not hiring anyone…shame on you. (enter extremely sarcastic smirk here). Good for you, you took control of your career!

  • amplitude jones


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