New details are still emerging about the circumstances surrounding Chris Cornell’s sudden death this week, which the medical examiner has ruled a suicide, even if his family think medication may have been involved with that choice. Today, a police report obtained by the Detroit News indicates that medication may have indeed been involved.
As Vicky Cornell said in her statement, she spoke with her husband about an hour before his death in an uneasy conversation where he said he may have taken “an extra Ativan or two” and was repeatedly slurring his words and repeating the phrase “I am just tired,” before hanging up abruptly. Following the call, Vicky called Chris’ bodyguard, Martin Kirsten, around 12:15 AM and asked him to check in on her husband in his hotel room.
Though he had his own key to the door, Kirsten was unable to enter and even after Vicky called hotel security for access, they denied him entry because he was not authorized. Kirsten then kicked down the door to the hotel room, and encountered the same problem with the bedroom door. After calling security a second time, and being denied once again, he proceeded to kick down the bedroom door as well.
Kirsten found Cornell on the bathroom floor with a red exercise band around his neck and blood running down his mouth. TMZ reports that Cornell used the exercise band and a carabiner, a device commonly used in rock climbing to secure ropes and withstand enormous weight, to hang himself. The device reportedly left indentation marks in the door because of how tightly it was jammed in.
Kirsten’s statement to the police also offers prior details; after the concert ended around 11:30 PM, he says he accompanied Cornell to his hotel room to give him two Atvian, which is an anxiety medication he takes, and help fix his computer. It was around 1 AM when paramedics were finally able to make it to the MGM Grand in Detroit where Cornell was staying, remove the exercise band from his neck, and perform CPR. A doctor who arrived at the scene later pronounced Cornell dead around 1:30 AM.
Read our tribute to the late grunge legend here.