The death of 69-year old Allman Brothers Band drummer Butch Trucks at his home in West Palm Beach on January 24 was a suicide, according to police records.
The Miami Herald reports the records show Trucks shot himself in the head with a pistol as his wife of 25 years – painter Melinda Trucks – stood near him and witnessed the incident in their downtown condo.
The media outlet has reviewed the transcripts of a frantic 911 call Melinda made to West Palm Beach Police about 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, telling the dispatcher her “husband just shot himself” with a pistol.
The drummer was still breathing when police arrived at the residence but passed away on site soon after.
The Palm Beach County Medical Examiner’s Office performed an autopsy Wednesday, but the results won’t be known for weeks.
The Daily Mail suggests financial problems may have been a possible motive for Trucks to end his life.
According to Palm Beach County court records, the drummer appeared to be wrestling with financial issues in recent years.
In 2011, Trucks sold his Palm Beach home for $2 million - when it was possibly worth twice as much - to pay off a $800,000 mortgage that a bank was trying to foreclose on.
In 2014, Trucks and his wife spent $500,000 on the condo where he shot himself and, last year, the IRS filed two liens against the property to force the musician to pay additional taxes for 2013 and 2014 for a total of more than $540,000.
“The Trucks and Allman Brothers Band families request all of Butch’s friends and fans to please respect our privacy at this time of sadness for our loss,” announced the group on Wednesday. “Butch will play on in our hearts forever.”
Donations and remembrances in Trucks’ name may be made to The Big House Museum in Macon, GA.
Trucks cofounded the Allman Brothers Band with Gregg and Duane Allman in his hometown of Jacksonville, FL in 1969, and remained a vital member for 45 years; the group performed its final show on October 28, 2014 at the Beacon Theater in New York City.
Watch “Statesboro Blues” from the band’s final concert, below.
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Search The Allman Brothers at hennemusic