The man who died Friday at the Oak Tree Gun Club of a gunshot wound was a talented engineer who, after undergoing surgery less than a year ago, became addicted to opioid painkillers and then heroin, according to his brother.
The deceased man was identified Monday as Travis Paster, 32, of Lancaster, by Kelly Yagerlener, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Department.
Although an official manner of death has been not yet been determined, investigators working on the case are treating the man’s death as a suicide.
Paster was found dead Friday at the Oak Tree Gun Club in Newhall from an apparent gunshot wound.
The incident was reported to the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station at 8:47 p.m. Friday.
Lt. James Duran of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station described the incident as an apparent suicide.
The day before he took his own life, he sent his brother Troy a text message: “I love you.”
“Looking back on it, it was a good bye,” Troy Paster said of his brother on Monday.
Troy, who now lives in Georgia, is trying to raise money to pay for his brother’s funeral service.
His message on the GoFundMe website reads: “Travis Anthony Paster born August 1, 1984. Passed away Jan. 6, 2017, at 9:00 p.m.
“A loving brother, son, uncle, friend, and co-worker,” he said in his post. ” Funds will be raised for funeral expenses and funeral service will be posted at a later date.”
Travis Paster underwent surgery in April, he said, to have a pacemaker replaced. A short time later, he became addicted to opiate painkillers, then to heroin.
“He tested positive at work,” Troy said. “He told them he was suicidal.”
Travis Paster enrolled in a rehab program, but never returned to work, he said.
“At one point, he said ‘I don’t care about the job” and that he felt numb.”
Troy said he tried to encourage his brother and provide him with options.
An autopsy has been scheduled to be performed on the body of Travis Paster, Yagerlener said.
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