Suicide at Vegas Mormon temple was federal judge's son
Las Vegas • A 26-year-old man who authorities say killed himself in the courtyard of a Mormon temple in Las Vegas was identified Wednesday as the son of a federal appeals court judge.
Scott Greer Bybee of Henderson died in the shooting just before 6:30 p.m. Tuesday while services were being conducted at the temple, police and the Clark County coroner said.
He was the son of 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jay Bybee.
No one else was hurt, Las Vegas police Officer Bill Cassell said.
In a statement circulated by a 9th Circuit colleague, Judge Bybee and his wife Dianna Bybee said their son suffered from depression for many years, and they did all they could as parents to help him, including seeking professional advice and treatment.
"While Jay and Dianna mourn for Scott, and grieve for their own loss, they are grateful that he is finally released from his sufferings," said the statement circulated by Judge Milan D. Smith Jr. of El Segundo, Calif. "They have faith that he is in a better place."
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spokeswoman Kristen Howey issued a statement calling the incident tragic and saying the thoughts and prayers of church members were with those involved.
Jay Bybee, 60, was nominated to the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit court by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2003.
He has been criticized for authoring documents in August 2002, later dubbed torture memos, that gave interrogators wide latitude to use techniques including waterboarding during questioning of terrorism detainees at the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo Bay and at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
His statement on the death of his son said no decision had been made concerning a memorial service.
Mormons believe suicide is wrong, but they don't hold the person responsible, said Matthew Bowman, an author and assistant professor of religion at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia.
Families are told that only God can judge the deceased, Bowman said.
Associated Press writers Michelle Rindels in Las Vegas and Brady McCombs in Salt Lake City contributed to this report.