An 18-year-old man from West Hills jumped to his death Thursday from a cliff at least 200 feet tall in Palos Verdes Estates after an argument with his mother.
John Albrigo drove his black Honda sport utility vehicle from his family's West Hills home to the 1700 block of Paseo Del Mar this morning, Palos Verdes Estates police Sgt. Steve Barber told the Daily Breeze.
Albrigo's mother Rosemarie and sister had driven to the bluffs to try to stop him, but he jumped just as police arrived at the scene before noon, officials told the Daily Breeze.
Albrigo's body was airlifted from the shore at about 1 p.m. by a Los Angeles County Fire Department helicopter, the Daily Breeze reported.
Colleen Ecker, a counselor with the Thelma McMillen Center at Torrance Memorial Medical Center, told the Daily Breeze she saw Albrigo when she went to the area to counsel two Palos Verdes Estates high school students at about 10 a.m.
Albrigo was standing at the edge of the cliffs in shorts and a T-shirt with his arms outstretched and was praying and chanting, Ecker told the Daily Breeze.
"He had one foot in front of the other and started to lunge," Ecker told the Daily Breeze. "I thought he was meditating but the girls felt like he was going to lunge. I yelled, 'Hey you.' He turned around."
Ecker told the Daily Breeze she invited Albrigo to sit with her and the girls under a tree and he did.
Albrigo told Ecker his name was Jesus but later said his name was John. He said he struggled with depression and had issues with his father, the Daily Breeze reported.
When Albrigo's mother and sister arrived they persuaded him to drive to a nearby hill where he could get cellphone reception to call his therapist, Ecker told the Daily Breeze.
The mother and Albrigo soon began arguing, Barber told the Daily Breeze, drawing the attention of a neighbor, who called police.
When the officer arrived, Albrigo started running, the leaped over the cliff, Ecker told the Daily Breeze.
"It was a very premeditated suicide," Ecker told the Daily Breeze. "I think we delayed it. He seemed quite determined. I think he suffered from depression. He was lost. He definitely didn't want to live."