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Coroner's office confirms Kern County Sheriff's Deputy died by suicide

BPD says the investigation is still ongoing
Posted at 3:17 PM, May 23, 2024

SHAFTER, Calif. (KERO) — The Kern County Coroner's Office released the name and cause of death of the Kern County Sheriff's Senior Deputy found dead on 7th Standard Road on Tuesday.

The Senior Deputy was identified as Benjamin Alan Michael Harmonson, 36, of Bakersfield, according to the coroner's office.

KCSO found Harmonson with a gunshot wound just outside his department-issued vehicle Tuesday afternoon.

The investigation was later handed over to the Bakersfield Police Department.

Harmonson joined the Kern County Sheriff's Office in July of 2008 and was later promoted to Senior Deputy in November of 2022. Harmonson was named Deputy of the Year for the Rosamond Substation in 2013.

23ABC's Dominique LaVigne reached out to Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery Services who say in a statement to 23ABC, "Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery Services would like to share its deepest condolences with the deputy’s family, the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bakersfield community. Our thoughts are with you during these challenging time."

If you or someone you know is in a life-threatening emergency, call 911.

If there is a behavioral health crisis, please call 9-8-8 or the crisis hotline at 1-(800)-991-5272.

Mobile crisis response is also available at (661) 868-8200.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the department at 327-7111.

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