A San Jose man who committed suicide by leaping from overhead onto a stage where Irish performer Glen Hansard was playing was a troubled individual with a violent past.
Dublin-born Hansard, famous for the movie ‘Once” and the Oscar winning song ‘Falling Slowly’ was said to be deeply shocked by the incident.
Michael Edward Pickels was out on $150,000 bail after a New Year’s Day argument with his girlfriend during which time he pointed a loaded shotgun at her. He was scheduled for court on Oct. 5 to face charges of assault with a firearm, domestic violence and false imprisonment.
Hansard was performing a midsummer concert at Saratoga’s Mountain Winery near San Jose to a packed audience when the incident happened.
At first, some thought it was part of the show when the man leaped from the shingle-tiled roof above the stage, landing a few feet from Hansard.
Hansard was first to rush over and try and help the man; a doctor in the audience tried to save him also, but to no avail.
"It was spooky, you're at this concert with beautiful music," Will Hector, who was at the concert Thursday night, told the San Jose Mercuty News.
"It felt pretty intimate and powerful and then this completely invasive thing happens. I'm not sure I can go back to the Mountain Winery. It's too hard. The image of that man on the stage was too horrific.”
Pickels had attended the concert with his friend and told him he was leaving early.
Then he appeared on the roof of the stage and jumped, landing right beside Hansard who had been bantering with the audience.
Kyle Rivers, who was at the concert with his wife, said at first he thought the man on the roof was part of the act.
"And then he took off running and jumped, did a couple of flips and landed on the stage," Rivers said. "It was pretty traumatic."