Teenage years are stressful when a person experiences many significant changes in their thoughts, bodies, and feelings.

Many of these changes come with intense fear, confusion, doubts, and questions no one seems to know the answers to.

Inevitably this difficult phase affects a person’s ability to develop decision-making and problem-solving skills as an adult.

Without guidance or support from parents, friends, teachers, or other grown-ups, a teenager can feel a consuming pressure to succeed so overwhelmingly that it undermines good morale.

For some teenagers, developmental changes can be too embarrassing or hard to overcome to the point where suicide may begin to look like a solution. 

Just like in the case of Jeremy Wade Delle, a Richardson High School student who shot himself in a classroom on January 8, 1991, it is not always easy to pinpoint the underlying problem of teenage suicide.

The single “Jeremy,” made famous by Pearl Jam, tried to tell a story about it, although those closest to Jeremy know the song is far from accurate. The real Jeremy Delle had his own story to tell.




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10 /10 A Gun In His Mouth

In the morning of January 8, 1991, Joseph Delle called home two hours after leaving for work to make sure that his son Jeremy was awake for school.

On the phone, he told Jeremy that it was going to be a cold day. Jeremy did dress warmly; he wore a gray sweatshirt over his T-shirt, thermal underwear under his jeans, and two pairs of white socks under leather boots.

In the classroom, that morning at 9:40 a.m., no one but Jeremy himself knew that he was about to put a gun in his mouth and pull the trigger.

9 /10 Divorced Parents

After nine years of marriage, Joseph and Wanda Delle – Jeremy’s parents – finalized their divorce in July 1979. Jeremy was a 5-year-old back then.

Wanda became the managing conservator of Jeremy and his sister. Joseph was legally required to pay child support and non-insured medical expenses.

Joseph’s second marriage ended in July 1983. Wanda remarried in April 1984. In November the same year, the father remarried, but it only lasted several years.

After living with his mother, sister, and stepfather, Jeremy moved in with his father around March 1990 and enrolled in Richardson High School.





8 /10 Suicide Attempt

During a retreat sponsored by Casa View Baptist Church in Mesquite in March 1990, Jeremy met Nancy, and they began dating soon after. The relationship lasted only about a month.

Just two days after they broke up, Jeremy was hospitalized after a suicide attempt by taking an unknown amount of pills.

He was subsequently admitted to an in-patient program at Timberlawn psychiatric hospital. While Jeremy was a patient in the facility, his parents modified his custody.

Joseph and Wanda switched their original roles determined after the divorce. At Timberlawn, Jeremy met Michelle, and they dated.

7 /10 Another Breakup

Jeremy was released from Timberlawn in October, but Michelle was re-admitted. The two then ended the relationship. Having been released, he began attending school again.

All seemed to go quite well for Jeremy, but he told Ashely L., another student, that he wanted to shoot himself in November. Ashley reported it to the school counselor.

On December 11, Jeremy told Antoine C., also a student, he would kill his math teacher then kill himself.

Antoine reported it to the assistant school principal, Joe Roseborough, the following day. Jeremy also reportedly stole $47 cash from the school gym.

6 /10 In-School Suspension

Jeremy was arrested for theft on December 12. When the police asked him about the threat against the math teacher, he said it was only a general comment that ended up being twisted as it passed from one student to another.

The police were assured if Jeremy had no reason to harm the teacher or any other. School officials decided to put Jeremy in the ISS (in-school suspension).

Roseborough informed the police Jeremy was committed to a treatment program and that the school had taken the necessary precautions.

5 /10 Pregnant Michelle

On the day of the suicide, Jeremy was still under ISS. In the morning, he arrived on campus and headed straight to the student’s common area, where he met Andi Z., a fellow student.

When Andi asked why she had not seen him in weeks, Jeremy said nothing about being confined to the ISS program.

Instead, he told Andi that he missed classes because he was in Houston, visiting his girlfriend Michelle, pregnant with his child. Jeremy also said he was about to move to the city to be with her soon.

4 /10 Letter And Diamond Ring

During the short conversation, Jeremy asked Andi to mail a letter to him. The letter had already been addressed, but the envelope was unsealed.

He then took out a diamond ring from his jacket and put it into the envelope, pointing out to Andi it was vital for her to mail the letter.

When he gave the unsealed envelope and left, Andi didn’t remember him being disturbed at all. Still, he handed a cigarette butt to another girl in the commons area and said of it as something to remember him by.

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3 /10 In The Classroom

Jeremy came to class at 9:40 a.m. He told Mrs. Barnett, the teacher in the classroom, that he had lost the slip to admit him back to class after the in-school suspension program.

Mrs. Barnett gave him a hall pass to obtain another title from the school office. Jeremy put his jacket on his desk, then walked out of the class.

He went to his locker, removed presumably a gun, and walked back to the classroom. Some friends called his name, but Jeremy didn’t bother answering. Once inside the room, he put the hall pass on Mrs. Barnett’s desk.

2 /10 .357 Smith & Wesson

To everybody’s surprise, Jeremy pulled out a gun in front of the other students, put it in his mouth, and fired off a shot. He killed himself using a .357 Smith & Wesson model 19-4 in room B201 at Richardson High School.

The police were notified of the incident at 9:47 a.m. The medical examiner arrived about an hour later, and Jeremy was pronounced dead.

His parents were immediately notified. An autopsy report found nothing unusual except for the gunshot wound and powder burns on Jeremy’s left hand. Toxicological tests came back negative.

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1 /10 Suicide Note

On the same day, at around 4:30 p.m., the police arrived at Timberlawn to interview Michelle about his relationship with Jeremy. Michelle confirmed she was indeed pregnant, as Jeremy had said, but not with his child.

Inside the envelope, he had given to Andi earlier that day was a suicide note – one of few Jeremy had written – addressed to his ex-girlfriend Nancy.

The message said he would blow his head off and asked whether Nancy would attend his funeral. According to the letter, Jeremy blamed Michelle and many other problems for the suicide.

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  1. Easily, the most poorly written article I’ve ever read. This is beyond ridiculous. A freaking first grader could write better than this nonsense.

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