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Forest Hills police officer kills self: Cops

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A 10-year veteran of Forest Hills’ 112th Police Precinct committed suicide in a West Virginia hotel room early Monday morning while off duty, police said.

Robert Martin, 34, called 911 at 1:15 a.m. from a Holiday Inn Express on Interstate 70 and told the operator he was contemplating suicide, said Sheriff Tom Burgoyne of Ohio County. Martin then fatally shot himself in the head.

There appeared to be no drugs or alcohol at the scene, Burgoyne said. It also appeared that Martin did not meet with anybody in West Virginia but merely “got in his car and just drove west,” Burgoyne said.

“We’ve been just sick over this,” the sheriff said.

Burgoyne, a retired FBI agent, and his chief deputy, a former police detective, said they have seen such suicides before but generally with older officers.

“It really is a heart-wrenching thing, particularly with such a young fellow. This took the wind out of our sails down here, I’ll tell you that,” Burgoyne said.

Colleagues at the 112th Precinct said Martin was the last person they would have expected to commit suicide.

“Bobby, he was probably one of the best cops in the precinct,” said Lt. Joe Davids, his supervising officer, who described Martin as “very sharp, articulate and hard working.”

The precinct had chosen Martin as a field training officer for new recruits.

Martin regularly turned down offers for plainclothes assignments and consecutive days off. “He liked alternating days off, that way he sees everybody. He liked working in uniform and on patrol,” Davids said.

Officers of the Forest Hills precinct were stunned to learn of the suicide. “This was a total surprise. If you had said pick someone capable of this, he would have been the absolute last guy. Everyone is devastated,” Davids said.

Martin grew up in Merrick, L.I. and had lived in East Meadow. He leaves behind his wife and 6-year-old daughter.

Reach reporter Jennifer Warren by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 155.

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