Skating Icon ID'd as Mission SFPD Suicide

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} The man who fatally shot himself in the head in front of a San Francisco police station on Monday morning was a founder of an influential skateboarding magazine and an icon in the movement, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

The co-founder of San Francisco-based Thrasher Magazine, Eric Swenson, 64, of Potrero Hill, shot himself in the head in front of the Valencia Street-located Mission Police Station at 8:30 a.m. on Monday. He was suffering from lingering pain from a motorcycle accident, and may have ended his life to escape that grief, according to loved ones.

"Eric was not a person who wanted to burden anybody," said Gwynn Vitello, the publisher of the magazine, in a statement to the newspaper. Swenson was a private man, and ending his life in front of a police station meant his family and friends wouldn't be burdened with finding a body, Vitello said.

In addition to the magazine, which helped establish skateboarding as a culture instead of a mere fad, Swenson also co-founded a company that produced skateboard trucks, the metal devices on which skateboard wheels are mounted.

Swenson was never a skater -- the motorcycle accident, coming when he was 20, limited his mobility -- but instead worked behind the scenes, on the trucks and on the magazine, to transform skateboarding culture.

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