The Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman was sadly found dead at the MGM Grand in Detroit soon after playing a gig in the city on 18th May, he died at the age of 52. Chris was a pioneer of the grunge genre and was widely regarded as one of the best voices in the industry, with a four-octave vocal range and his death was described as ‘sudden and unexpected’.
When police officers arrived at Chris Cornell’s hotel room they found the medication he was prescribed, all his belongings and the equipment he used to commit suicide.
The Detriot Police Department has released the photos taken in the room during their investigation on his suicide. There were prescription bottles on the side, his guitar was on a chair, and his sunglasses left lying on the bed.
The records obtained under a Freedom of Information Act requested by Detroit Free Press revealed a call from Chris’ wife Vicky, she prompted bodyguard Martin Kirsten to go to the singer’s room – Room 1126 – to check up on him ‘because he did not sound like he was ok’.
Martin wasn’t able to get into the locked room, so he ‘kicked open the main door, then did the same with the interior bedroom door’.
He said in his police statement: “I went inside and the bathroom door was partially opened, and I could see his feet.”
Cornell was on the floor with a band around his neck. The bodyguard attempted to loosen the band, then tried to resuscitate the singer by compressing his chest, Kirsten said in his statement.
The chilling 911 call made by a hotel employee regarding his death has also been released
911 call reporting Chris Cornell’s suicide
The time of the call is 12:56 am May 18th, 2017
911: Detroit 911 what is the address of the emergency?
MGM employee: 1777 3rd street the MGM Casino
911: Tell me exactly what happened
MGM: I have a non responsive guest in the hotel, it’s a 50-year-old male in room 1136
911: Ok, non-responsive hes not breathing?
911: Is anyone doing CPR?
*at the hotel in the background someone says ‘hanged himself’
911: Did they start CPR?
MGM: They found out that the guest was attempting to hang himself, so they are trying to get him down so they can assist with CPR
911: Ok ill request units
According to Pitchfork, through their lawyer, Cornell’s family released a statement questioning the motives that led him to take his own life.
The statement reads:
The family believes that if Chris took his life, he did not know what he was doing, and that drugs or other substances may have affected his actions.
Without the results of toxicology tests, we do not know what was going on with Chris – or if any substances contributed to his demise.
The family believe that Cornell may have been taking the anti-anxiety prescription drug Ativan, above the recommended usage.
Some medical literature indicates that Ativan can cause paranoid or suicidal thoughts, slurred speech and impaired judgement.
Various musicians, friends, family and fans all gathered at Hollywood Forever Cemetery for Chris’ funeral on May 26th.
His tombstone, which is just a few feet away from the headstone of his hero Johnny Ramone, reads: “Voice of our generation and an artist for all time’.