WILMINGTON — The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office has ruled that UNCW Professor Mike Adams died by suicide.
According to the agency’s spokesperson, Lt. Jerry Brewer, after an investigation by detectives and the medical examiner, “it was ascertained that Mr. Adams committed suicide with a single gunshot wound to the head.”
“No other people were in the home and foul play is not suspected,” he said.
Shortly after noon on Thursday, July 23, deputies responded to a welfare call at his home on Windsong Road in the Ogden area.
“The homeowner had not been seen or heard from in a couple of days,” according to Lt. Brewer. “Deputies at first weren’t able to gain access to the home due to all doors being locked. Once they were able to gain access to the home deputies found the homeowner, Mike Adams, deceased in a bedroom.”
Records from the 911 call revealed that a friend of Adams told the dispatcher that he had acted erratically for several weeks and was “under a lot of stress.”
The tenured professor of criminology and sociology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington was set to retire this week as part of a $500,000 settlement, following growing criticism for controversial social media posts he had made during his time at the university.
“Adams had supporters as well as detractors, including those who saw his online behavior as an exercise of his first First Amendment rights,” according to prior reporting by Port City Daily. “Adams’ classes were also popular with many of his students, earning him generally positive evaluations and several awards for teaching, according to his UNCW curriculum vitae.”
If you or someone you know is dealing with suicidal ideation or has lost someone to suicide, here are two resources:
Also listen to Saturday’s podcast discussing Adams’ death.