The police officials of Unified Police Department in Salt Lake County, Utah confirm they are investigating the death of Jeret “Speedy” Peterson, U.S. aerial freestyle skier, and said the Olympian committed a suicide last Monday night.
Peterson was found dead at around 9:30 in the evening, Monday from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. It happened in a hilly location of Utah named Lambs Canyon.
Salt Lake County Unified Police said Peterson called police to inform them where he was before the suicide.
Last Friday, Peterson was arrested for speeding and driving while drunk. The lawyer of Peterson filed paperwork on his behalf pleading not guilty to both crimes. His lawyer was not available for comment.
Shannon Decker, family representative, said, “The family is grateful for the incredible support Jeret received during his amazing journey. Friends and family request privacy at this time.”
Dave Bieter, Boise Mayor as well spoke regarding the death of Peterson.
He said, “This is a sad day for Boise and for all of us who admired Speedy Peterson’s accomplishments, both on the slopes and in his life. The hundreds of kids who came to City Hall to shake Speedy’s hand after he medaled in Vancouver last year are a living testament to his power to inspire and motivate. It is truly tragic that, in the end, there was one hill he wasn’t able to conquer. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.”
Carma Burnett knew Peterson when he was just getting going — a kid at Bogus Basin, concerned with what was then called the Bogus Basin Ski Racing Alliance.
She said, “Not only was he athletically gifted, he was charismatically gifted. I can’t think of another Olympian that probably gave the U.S. such a warm and fuzzy feeling. He was all that. He is a treasure, and he made all of us proud. He made Idaho proud. He made the U.S. proud.”
Peterson rose to fame both locally and throughout the world on his appearances in three Winter Olympic Games, winning a silver medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.