Student's death a suicide, family says
September 14, 2009 1:50 PM
An SF State student died on the morning of Sept. 6 at a gas station in what his family is calling a suicide.
The San Francisco Police Department confirmed late Sunday that the victim was 19-year-old Anton Jungenberg, a first-semester art major from San Diego.
Jungenberg set himself on fire at the Shell gas station on 19th Avenue at Taraval Street, according to the police.
John McGee, Jungenberg's stepfather, said Jungenberg struggled with depression in the past, but improved after graduating from Fallbrook Union High School in Fallbrook, Calif. in 2007.
"As parents, we like to think it was not pre-meditated," McGee said. "Once he was exposed to San Francisco, he was really excited about the campus and the city, and he made it a priority to get those classes so he could go to SF State."
The station attendant, identified as Louis Alvarado, was doing housekeeping and replenishing sodas when he came out and saw Jungenberg fully engulfed in flames, according to SFPD Sgt. Lyn Tomioka.
The Shell Station's manager, Rocinda Mejia, said that Jungenberg was pacing back and forth at the bus stop in front of the station around 3:30 a.m. for a few minutes before authorizing a $.53 purchase with his debit card at one of the pumps and drenching himself with gasoline.
Alvarado came out from the back of the store and upon seeing Jungenberg standing completely ablaze, quickly dialed 911. According to Tomioka, an officer stopped after seeing the flames and assisted Alvarado in attempting to extinguish it.
Jungenberg was pronounced dead at the scene.
Tomioka said there was no evidence that anyone else was involved and that Jungenberg had no vehicle with him.
According to McGee, Jungenberg's sense of humor and his way of looking at the world were some of his best qualities.
"I will definitely miss his views on people," McGee said. "Anton didn't like people who were superficial and was always looking for people with true characteristics."
SF State Spokesperson Ellen Griffin released a statement Monday morning.
"We are deeply saddened by this tragic loss and our condolences for all of Anton's family and friends," Griffin said.
Counseling services will be offered in the residence hall for any student or member of the community. More information is available at (415)-338-2208.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, Sept. 19 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Peter's Church in Fallbrook.
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