High school teacher commits suicide — (The Herald-Tribune)

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The Herald-Tribune

Published: Friday, August 5, 2005 at 3:22 a.m.

By MICHAEL A. SCARCELLA,  michael.scarcella@heraldtribune.com

MANATEE COUNTY — A Sarasota High School physical education teacher fatally shot himself Wednesday evening, officials said.

Phillip Randolph Koenigstein, 53, had been a full-time teacher in Sarasota County since 1985 and had taught at Fruitville Elementary, Southside Elementary and Booker Middle School. He also spent several years overseeing a dropout prevention program.

Manatee sheriff’s officials said Koenigstein, who was taking medication for depression, shot himself once in the head with a small-caliber handgun. Authorities did not find a suicide note.

In 1993, Koenigstein was accused of touching an 8-year-old boy’s genitals at Pine View School.

The state attorney’s office decided it didn’t have enough evidence to file charges.

The state Division of Administrative Hearings also decided not to discipline him.

He lived alone at the Shadybrook Village apartments in the 1000 block of Longfellow Circle off Whitfield Avenue. His wife, who lived in the apartment next door, declined comment Thursday.

Staff writer Tiffany Lankes contributed to this report.