First reported by TMZ, Mark Salling, who played Noah “Puck” Puckerman in the television series Glee, was found hanging from a tree by the side of a creek near a little league baseball field, not far from his home in the Sunland neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.
Responding to a call for a “welfare check” on Salling, LAPD officers were able to locate his hanging body at the aforementioned site.
Reportedly, homicide detectives – called in to investigate the possibility of foul play – have said that their initial assessment of the scene and body indicate suicide by hanging.
“I can confirm that Mark Salling passed away early this morning,” E! News reported, quoting the actor’s lawyer, Michael J. Proctor. “Mark was a gentle and loving person, a person of great creativity, who was doing his best to atone for some serious mistakes and errors of judgment. He is survived by his mother and father, and his brother.
The Salling family appreciates the support they have been receiving and asks for their privacy to be respected.”
Arrested in December 2015 for possession of child pornography photos and videos in the tens of thousands, the 35-year-old actor pleaded guilty in September last year and was awaiting his sentencing set for March 2018, before he decided to end it all at the end of a rope.
E! News reported that at the time of the condemned actor’s plea deal, his lawyer told the network that Salling was “focused on accepting responsibility and atoning for his conduct.”
The Glee guy was looking at four to seven years in prison as part of his plea bargain.
Salling’s Glee co-star Jane Lynch said the death of “the guy who made that really sweet video in the beginning of Glee when he was so happy to be a part of this group” was “tragic.”
Without condoning the crimes of the dead actor, former Glee vocal coordinator Tim Davis urged the public to respect his family’s feelings and “stop adding” to their woes. “This was their son. If you’re without sin, feel free to cast stones,” he wrote.
Let me be clear. Having compassion for #MarkSalling in no way minimizes his crimes, nor does it minimize the pain and devastation of the victims of those crimes. I'm just saying stop adding to his family's pain. This was their son. If you're without sin, feel free to cast stones.
— Tim Davis (@loudmouthmuch) January 30, 2018
In a preceding tweet, Davis defended Salling, saying that the actor may have committed “horrific” crimes against children but “he was a broken man, no doubt an abuse victim himself. I loved Mark, and am sad when I consider the devastation of his parents. PLEASE withhold your cruel comments.”
Today we lost another #Glee cast member.Yes, he committed crimes against children.Yes, it's horrific. But #MarkSalling was a broken man, no doubt an abuse victim himself. I loved Mark, and am sad when I consider the devastation of his parents. PLEASE withhold your cruel comments.
— Tim Davis (@loudmouthmuch) January 30, 2018
Here’s how different people reacted to the news of Salling’s death
Erick@Erickcourage wrote that he was saddened by the news “because he was a human being with whom practically I grew up watching during my adolescence.” He said that was not defending his crimes “but as a human I feel sad for him, his family and friends.”
It's sad news and I'm sad because he was a human being with whom practically I grew up watching during my adolescence. I do not defend what he did, but as a human I feel sad for him, his family and friends. #MarkSalling
— erick (@Erickcourage) January 30, 2018
Prossy@Pkakooza hopes Salling “rots in hell” and is not guilty about it. “Yes, I said that,” she wrote.
She reasons that while suicide is a “shame,” Mark Salling was a “self-admitted sex offender & peodophile contributing to kids experience the worst things anybody let alone a CHILD should ever experience.”
It’s a shame when anybody feels suicide is the answer.
However, #MarkSalling was a self admitted sex offender & peodophile contributing to kids experience the worst things anybody let alone a CHILD should ever experience.
And for that, I hope he rots in hell.
Yes, I said that.
— Prossy (@Pkakooza) January 30, 2018
Charlotte A@chazzer84 says that comparing Cory Monteith’s death, who was a “victim of the opioid crisis,” with someone who took his own life because “he was caught with 25,000 pornographic pics & 600 pornographic videos of kids as young as THREE,” was not fair on Monteith. Having appeared on Glee did not absolve him of his crimes, she suggested.
In a subsequent clarification, Charlotte A@chazzer84 tweeted that himself being a “victim of abuse” as a child actor, Salling’s death “marks the end of a tragic, awful story; equating the two, however, is reckless,” adding that it was an absolute disregard for the “many, many victims of Salling himself.”
For clarification: I have no doubt that as a child actor Mark Salling was himself a victim of abuse, and his death marks the end of a tragic, awful story; equating the two, however, is reckless and absolutely disregards the many, many victims of Salling himself.
— Charlotte A (@chazzer84) January 30, 2018
And in yet another tweet, Charlotte A@chazzer84 said that while she sympathized with Salling’s family for their loss, most of her compassion went “towards his victims, some of whom may have themselves committed suicide, and their families; they were children, and those that are still alive still suffer.”
I have compassion for the family, but most of my sympathy and compassion goes towards his victims, some of whom may have themselves committed suicide, and their families; they were children, and those that are still alive still suffer.
— Charlotte A (@chazzer84) January 31, 2018