Gulfport man tries to kill himself as bank forecloses on his home
GULFPORT — The foreclosure process started more than two years ago. Papers were served. Hearings held. Judges ruled. Back and forth it went, inexorably. Like millions across the nation, Boyd Rubright, 71, was slowly losing his home.
The writ of possession — the final document that strips someone of a foreclosed home — was signed Nov. 2. The occupant received 24 hours’ notice. Then, ready or not, he had to go.
Monday was the day.
The bank representative was the first to arrive at 5840 Gulfport Blvd. S. It’s the white house with the green trim and the empty birdbath.
The house looked vacant, but the representative thought he saw someone inside. A deputy arrived, and knocked on the front door. He announced himself from the outside, loudly.
No one answered.
The bank sent someone to drill through the lock. It was 9:02 a.m. when the drilling stopped. The busted lock hit the floor inside.
That’s when they heard the gunshot.
• • •
The deputy moved everyone away from the house and called for backup. Then he and a Gulfport officer went inside, weapons drawn.
They found Rubright slumped in an armchair in a small room. Police said he placed the barrel of a .357-caliber revolver in his mouth and pulled the trigger.
The officers couldn’t find a pulse; paramedics were called.
His oldest daughter learned about the shooting when she talked to a St. Petersburg Times reporter Wednesday night.
“When the foreclosure started a couple of years ago, he told us that he was not giving up his house for anything,” said Margaret Fitzgibbons, 44. “They would have to take him out or he’d kill himself.
“That’s why I wasn’t surprised.”