A 13-year-old Durango boy who attended Miller Middle School died Tuesday from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said Wednesday.
La Plata County Coroner Jann Smith identified the boy as Sawyer Ward. He was the son of Steve Ward and Dr. Julie Pysklo. The cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The boy didn’t show up for class Tuesday, according to Durango School District 9-R. He was found dead Tuesday afternoon at his home.
Counseling will be available to students and staff this week and beyond if needed, a message on the Miller Middle School website said. Miller counselors Bayli Stillwell and Emily Supino are available at 247-1418.
Grief counselors also were made available starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the school for parents, classmates and friends.
The school district postponed a hearing Wednesday evening to discuss the 2015-16 budget, Superintendent Dan Snowberger said.
Miller Middle School Principal Cito Nuhn said on the website that reaction to the boy’s death will vary.
“The most important thing you can do is to be supportive and encourage an open expression of feelings,” Nuhn said. “We recommend maintaining as normal a routine as possible. The recommendation has evolved from the district’s experience with death in the past and the advice of mental-health professionals from the community.”