Pink Martini percussionist Derek Rieth dies

Derek Rieth was born in 1971

Pink Martini percussionist Derek Rieth died, the band announced on Aug. 22, 2014 (Pink Martini photo)
Pink Martini percussionist Derek Rieth died, the band announced on Aug. 22, 2014 (Pink Martini photo)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Derek Rieth, the percussionist for Pink Martini, died on Wednesday of an apparent suicide, according to the Portland Police Bureau.

A post on the’s band on their Facebook page announced his death Friday afternoon.

“Thank you all for your kind words and support. Derek would want nothing more than for the show to go on. We’ll see you tonight and tomorrow at the zoo,” the band posted on Facebook.

Pink Martini percussionist Derek Rieth died, the band announced on Aug. 22, 2014 (Pink Martini photo)
Pink Martini percussionist Derek Rieth died, the band announced on Aug. 22, 2014 (Pink Martini photo)

The Oregon State Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy and confirmed that Rieth, 43, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head and ruled the death a suicide.

Portland police said they were called to a residence in the 5100 block of Southeast Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard on Wednesday to perform a welfare check after a caller reported not hearing from Rieth for several hours.

Officers arrived at the residence and located Rieth dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, which appeared to be an intentional act. A shotgun was located at the scene and seized as evidence, police said.

Pink Martini performs at the Oregon Zoo Friday and Saturday nights, with the von Trapps.

Many of the band’s 3,000 fans in attendance at Friday night’s show said they were heartbroken about Rieth’s death.

“We saw it about an hour before we got here and your heart just sinks when you see that. When you take your own life, there’s got to be better answers out there,” said Pink Martini fan Karen Borrebik.

Help is available for community members struggling from a mental health crisis and/or suicidal thoughts.

Coping with suicide: local groups offer help, comfort

Locally, there are numerous resources available:

  • Multnomah County Mental Health Call Center – 503.988.4888 (available 24/7)
  • Lines for Life – www.linesforlife.org
  • Suicide Lifeline – 800.273.TALK
  • Alcohol & Drug Helpline – 800.923.HELP
  • Military Helpline – 888.457.4838 or text MIL1 to 839836
  • Youthline – 877.968.8491 or text teen2teen to 839863

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